Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sierra Club v. Lisa P. Jackson

January 20, 2011

SIERRA CLUB, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LISA P. JACKSON, ADMINISTRATOR,
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY,*FN1
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul L. Friedman United States District Judge

OPINION

"This case concerns defendant EPA's failure to discharge fully its duty under the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments to promulgate regulations governing the discharge of certain hazardous air pollutants." Sierra Club v. Johnson, 444 F. Supp. 2d 46, 47 (D.D.C. 2006). By Order of March 31, 2006, this Court entered judgment for plaintiff, finding that EPA's admitted failure to promulgate emission standards pursuant to the Clean Air Act constituted "a failure of the Administrator to perform any act or duty under this chapter that is not discretionary with the Administrator" within the meaning of Section 304(a)(2) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7604(a)(2). See Order at 1, Mar. 31, 2006. The Court ordered EPA to fulfill its statutory duties regarding the promulgation of emission standards under Sections 112(c)(3) and (k)(3)(B), Section 112(c)(6), and Section 183(e) on a prescribed schedule. See id. at 1-3. The Court explained the reasoning underlying its March 31, 2006 Order in its August 2, 2006 Opinion. See Sierra Club v. Johnson, 444 F. Supp. at 46.

Pursuant to the schedule established by the Court's Order, EPA was to have fully discharged all of its statutory duties by June 15, 2009. See Order at 3, Mar. 31, 2006; Sierra Club v. Johnson, 444 F. Supp. 2d at 48. Since 2006, however, the Court has granted a number of EPA's motions to extend the deadlines in its March 31, 2006 Order, all without opposition from plaintiff. Thus, as amended, the Court's March 31, 2006 Order now requires, in relevant part, that EPA fully discharge its statutory duties under Sections 112(c)(3) and (k)(3)(B), and Section 112(c)(6) of the Clean Air Act by January 21, 2011. See Order at 1-2, Sept. 20, 2010; Order at 1, Jan. 12, 2011. EPA now requests an extension of this January 21, 2011 deadline - but this time its request is opposed.*fn2

This matter is before the Court on EPA's motion to amend paragraphs 1(i) and 3 of the Court's March 31, 2006 Order to allow EPA additional time to promulgate regulations governing emission standards for certain hazardous air pollutants. Six intervenors have collectively filed a response in support of EPA's motion. Plaintiff opposes the motion. Upon consideration of the parties' and intervenors' arguments, the applicable legal standards, and the entire record in this case, the Court will deny in part and grant in part EPA's motion.*fn3

I. BACKGROUND

A. The Clean Air Act and the 1990 Amendments

The Clean Air Act ("CAA" or "the Act") regulates hazardous air pollutants ("HAPs"). The first federal attempt to regulate these HAPs, enacted in 1970, "worked poorly." See S. REP. NO. 101-228, at 128 (1989). Indeed, from 1970 until 1990, "EPA . . . listed only eight substances as hazardous air pollutants . . . and . . . promulgated emissions standards for seven of them." See H.R. REP. NO. 101-490, pt. 1, at 322 (1990). Accordingly, on November 15, 1990, Congress enacted sweeping revisions to the Act. See PUB. L. NO. 101-549, 104 STAT. 2399. The purpose of these revisions was to "entirely restructure the existing law, so that toxics might be adequately regulated by the Federal Government." S. REP. NO. 101-228, at 128 (1989). In place of the prior "risk-based approach," Congress imposed a technology-based emission-control scheme that limited EPA's discretion and that set strict requirements and deadlines for the promulgation of emission standards. See NRDC v. EPA ("NRDC II"), 489 F.3d 1364, 1368 (D.C. Cir. 2007).

As the Court previously described:

Title III of the revised statute created a complex scheme for the regulation of 189 specified [HAPs], and directed EPA to identify the sources of those pollutants and to promulgate regulations governing the emission of HAPs from those sources. Congress by statute added to the Clean Air Act the list of pollutants to be regulated, minimum stringency requirements,and (most important for this case) regulation deadlines. It did so because it believed that EPA had failed to regulate enough HAPs under previous air toxics provisions.

Sierra Club v. Johnson, 444 F. Supp. 2d at 48 (emphasis added). Title III recognizes and directs EPA to identify and regulate two basic kinds of sources of air pollutants:

(1) major sources; and

(2) area sources. Id. These two types of sources are distinguished by the amount of their respective HAP emissions. See id.; see also 42 U.S.C. §§ 7412(a)(1), (2). At issue in this case are the following two requirements regarding both area sources and major sources:

1. Regulate area sources of the thirty most dangerous HAPs:

Sections 112(c)(3) and (k)(3)(B) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7412(c)(3) and (k)(3)(B), require EPA

(1) to "identify not less than 30 hazardous air pollutants which, as the result of emissions from area sources, present the greatest threat to public health in the largest number of urban areas";

(2) to identify the categories or subcategories of sources "accounting for 90 per centum or more of the aggregate emissions of each of the 30 identified hazardous air pollutants" by November 15, 1995; and

(3) to issue emission standards for those area source categories by November 15, 2000. Sierra Club v. Johnson, 444 F. Supp. 2d at 49. The emission standards must be based on one of three types of pollution control mechanisms: (1) maximum achievable control technologies ("MACTs"); (2) health-based standards; or (3) generally available control technologies.

See 42 U.S.C.§§ 7412(d)(2), (d)(4), and (d)(5). As of 2006, EPA had fulfilled the first two of its duties under Sections 112(c)(3) and (k)(3)(B). EPA had failed, however, to fulfill its third duty: by 2006, it had promulgated emission standards for only fifteen of seventy area source categories. Sierra Club v. Johnson, 444 F. Supp. 2d at 49.

2. Regulate sources of seven statutorily-specified HAPs:

Section 112(c)(6) of the Act calls for EPA to regulate the sources of seven specific HAPs, without regard to whether those sources are major sources or area sources and without regard to their inclusion on EPA's list of sources of the thirty most dangerous HAPs. See 42 U.S.C. § 7412(c)(6); Sierra Club v. Johnson, 444 F. Supp. 2d at 49. EPA's duties and deadlines with respect to Section 112(c)(6) are identical to its duties with respect to the thirty most dangerous HAPs under Sections 112(c)(3) and (k)(3)(B). See 42 U.S.C. § 7412(c)(6). The only difference is that EPA emission standards promulgated pursuant to Section 112(c)(6) cannot be based on ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.