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The Legality of EPA's Greenhouse Gas Waiver Denial

February 2009

Citation: 39 ELR 10127

Issue: 2

Author: Kristien G. Knapp

Editors' Summary

In December 2007, EPA denied a request submitted by California pursuant to §209 of the CAA. That request for a waiver from federal preemption, if granted, would have allowed California to set its own motor vehicle emission standards for greenhouse gases (GHGs). This waiver request is unique; it marks the first waiver request submitted by California to regulate GHGs in order to mitigate climate change. Its subsequent denial is significant for, primarily, two reasons. First, this was the first waiver request ever flatly denied by EPA. Second, this was the first post-Massachusetts v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decision by EPA to reject its clear authority to regulate GHGs under the CAA.

Kristien G. Knapp is an Environmental Protection Specialist in the Compliance and Innovative Strategies Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This Article was written prior to the author's federal service, for a law school course on Global Climate Change and the Law. The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent the official opinion of EPA.

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