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Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20062
Nos. 09-1017, (D.C. Cir., 04/11/2017)

The D.C. Circuit vacated an EPA final rule that exempted farms from reporting requirements for air releases from animal waste. In 2008 the EPA issued a final rule that generally exempts farms from CERCLA and EPCRA reporting requirements for air releases from animal waste, reasoning that the reports are unnecessary because, in most cases, a federal response is impractical and unlikely. A number of environmental groups objected, claiming that the final rule ran afoul of the underlying statutes and denied them useful information that could shape future regulation. EPA argued that since CERCLA does not require disclosure, there could be no injury in not requiring reporting. The court disagreed, stating that since Congress tied CERCLA and EPCRA so closely together, lack of reporting under CERCLA would affect information disclosed under EPCRA. The court further held that the record demonstrated that the reporting could potentially serve real benefits.