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Natural Resources Defense Council v. Wheeler

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20082
Nos. 18-1172, (D.C. Cir., 04/07/2020)

The D.C. Circuit vacated a 2018 EPA rule that instituted a complete vacatur of its 2015 rule blocking the use of hydrofluorocarbons as replacements for ozone-depleting substances. An environmental group argued the 2018 rule was invalid because it was a legislative rule and was thus improperly promulgated without the required notice-and-comment procedures. The court agreed, finding that because the 2018 rule had the effect of amending the 2015 rule, which was undisputedly a legislative rule, the 2018 rule was also a legislative rule subject to notice-and-comment obligations; and thus held that the Agency improperly promulgated the rule without abiding by those obligations. It therefore vacated, 2-1, the 2018 rule and remanded to EPA for further proceedings.