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California v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20074
Nos. 18-cv-03237-HSG, (N.D. Cal., 05/06/2019) (Gilliam, J.)

A district court granted in part summary judgment against EPA for failure to implement its 2016 Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills. Eight states argued that the Agency failed to implement and enforce the guidelines by (1) failing to approve or disapprove existing SIPs submitted to the Agency addressing the guidelines; and (2) failing to promulgate regulations for a federal implementation plan (FIP) that addresses the guidelines, in violation of the CAA. EPA admitted it failed to meet nondiscretionary obligations to implement the guidelines, but asserted that the states lacked standing. The court found that just as in a prior ruling Congress afforded a state a right to challenge EPA's decision not to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, Congress afforded the states in this case the right to challenge EPA's failure to perform its nondiscretionary duties. It therefore ordered the Agency to approve or disapprove the existing SIPs no later than September 6, 2019, promulgate regulations for an FIP no later than November 6, 2019, and file status reports with the court every 90 days detailing its progress.