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National Environmental Development Ass'n's Clean Air Project v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20093
Nos. 16-1344, (D.C. Cir., 06/08/2018)

The D.C. Circuit upheld amendments EPA made to its CAA regional consistency regulations that allow regional offices to act counter to national policies when ordered to do so by federal circuit courts. EPA issued the amended regulations in 2016 in response to the D.C. Circuit's decision in National Environmental Development Ass'n's Clean Air Project v. EPA, 752 F.3d 999, 44 ELR 20123 (D.C. Cir. 2014). The court rejected claims that CAA §301(a)(2) precludes the use of intercircuit nonacquiescence. The potential for intercircuit inconsistency is an inevitable consequence of CAA §307, the Act's judicial review provision. Here, the amended regulations reflect permissible and reasonable solutions to issues emanating from intercircuit conflicts and agency nonacquiescence. The court therefore deferred to EPA's reasonable construction of the statute and denied the petitions for review.