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Sierra Club v. McCarthy

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20056
Nos. 15-01165, (N.D. Cal., 03/15/2016) (Gilliam Jr., J.)

A district court ordered EPA to either promulgate revised emissions standards for the the pulp mill and nutritional yeast manufacturing source categories, or issue a determination that such standards are not required under the CAA. EPA promulgated emissions standards for both of these major source categories in 2001, but EPA has not yet performed the required technology-based reassessment for these sources. And despite congressional inaction, EPA has not yet determined whether there are residual risks to public health from these source categories that warrant promulgation of revised emissions standards. EPA did not dispute that it has failed to meet its statutory obligations under the CAA. The court therefore entered a declaratory judgment of liability as requested by the plaintiffs. Consequently, the court only needed to decide what timetable should be imposed on EPA to complete its reviews and, if necessary, revise the standards at issue. The court ultimately ordered EPA to revise the emission standards or issue a final determination that such revision is not necessary by October 1, 2017. This is consistent with congressional intent, and EPA failed to demonstrate that it would be infeasible or impossible to complete the requested rulemakings by that date.