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Foster v. Washington Department of Ecology

ELR Citation: 45 ELR 20125
Nos. 14-2-25295-1, (Super. Ct. Wash., 07/23/2015)

A Washington court ordered the state's environmental agency to reconsider its denial of youths' petition asking the agency to adopt rulemaking to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with the best available science. The youths had also petitioned the agency to recommend to the state legislature that existing GHG reductions must be revised based on the current science. The agency did not dispute the underlying science; nevertheless, it denied the petition, reasoning that it should delay action until after the international climate conference in Paris. Yet after denying the petition, the agency issued a report stating that impacts from climate change are "worse than previously predicted." In light of this and other new evidence, the court concluded the matter should be remanded. The agency must report back to the court by July 8, 2015, as to whether it will amend or affirm its initial denial of the petition.