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Louisiana Environmental Action Network v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20096
Nos. 17-1257, (D.C. Cir., 04/21/2020)

The D.C. Circuit granted a petition to review EPA's 2017 rule revising its emission standard for hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) emitted from pulp mill combustion sources. Environmental groups argued that EPA was required under §112(d)(6) of the CAA to consider the adequacy of the standard to control all HAPs that pulp mill combustion sources emitted, not just those HAPs already limited under the standard. The court found that the text of §112(d)(6) unambiguously required the Agency to establish any missing limits when reviewing an existing emission standard that failed to address many of the HAPs the source category emits, and made clear that Congress placed the statute as a check against what could otherwise be perpetual deferral of the Agency's statutory obligation to control HAPs. It therefore granted the groups' petition, remanded the 2017 rule without vacatur, and directed EPA to set limits on the HAPs that pulp mill combustion sources are known to emit but that the Agency has yet to control.