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New York v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20070
Nos. 17-1273, (D.C. Cir., 04/23/2019)

The D.C. Circuit denied downwind states' petition challenging EPA's refusal to expand the Northeast Ozone Transport Region, which consists of states required by the Agency to enact tight restrictions on pollutants that contribute to ozone that drifts across state lines. The downwind states argued that EPA should have expanded the region to include upwind states that were significantly contributing to ozone pollution in the region. But the court found the CAA did not require the Agency to grant the downwind states' request whenever EPA had reason to believe that interstate transport of pollutants significantly contributed to a violation of air quality standards in the region, but rather provided only that EPA could expand the region if it so chose. Further, the court found that EPA's refusal was a reasonable exercise of the Agency's discretion because EPA provided sufficient evidence to support its prediction that a decrease in ozone pollution would continue under the Agency's current regulatory regime. It therefore denied the states' petition.