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Sierra Club v. North Dakota

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20109
Nos. 15-15894, (9th Cir., 08/28/2017)

The Ninth Circuit upheld a 2014 EPA settlement that required the Agency to set a phased schedule for it to issue air quality designations as required by a 2010 sulfur dioxide NAAQS. In 2013, when EPA missed the statutory deadline to issue its designations under the CAA, environmental groups sued to force agency action. A district court approved a consent decree that granted EPA an extension until 2020 to set designations for areas. A group of states, led by North Dakota, then argued that the settlement between the EPA and the environmental groups imposed legal obligations on the states without their consent. The court held that the consent decree did not bind the states to do anything and imposes no legal duties or obligations on them at all.