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Humane Society of the United States v. McCarthy

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20154
Nos. 15-cv-00141, (D.D.C., 09/19/2016) (Chutkan, J.)

A district court dismissed environmental and animal rights groups' lawsuit against EPA for failing to respond to a 2009 petition for rulemaking that asked the Agency to regulate concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) as a source of air pollution under the CAA. The groups argued EPA violated the APA by failing to respond to the petition in a timely manner. Although EPA's duty to rule on the petition derives from the APA, EPA's obligations with respect to revising CAFO standards stem from the CAA. Under the CAA's citizen suit provision, EPA's waiver of sovereign immunity is conditioned on the requirement that prospective plaintiffs provide EPA with 180 days' notice before filing suit. Because the groups failed to provide such notice, the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and the court granted EPA's motion to dismiss.