U.S. District Judge Dismisses Environmental Group's Legal Suit to Force EPA to Regulate Aircraft Engine Emissions
As previously posted, in June 2010, the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Ctr. for Biological Diversity et al. v. EPA et al., No. 1:10-cv-00985), alleging that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) unnecessarily “dragged its feet” and delayed making a determination that aircraft engine emissions significantly contribute to air pollution and climate change.
Disagreeing with CBD’s position, on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. declined to force EPA to study such emissions, stating that the agency properly focused on larger and more major pollution sources first and could not consolidate its processes for automobile and aircraft emissions findings into a single study because they were different sources. The ruling does require EPA to review CBD’s administrative petitions and respond within 90 days of the judge’s order, however, the ruling does not compel EPA to make an endangerment finding within 90 days of the order. As you may recall from our earlier post, on July 5, 2011, the court also dismissed CBD’s efforts to push for similar marine vessel and non-road vehicle engine emissions regulation.
EPA does plan to release findings on aircraft emissions in the future, but said it has focused its limited resources on a bigger piece of the air pollutant pie. As this issue progresses, please check back to this blog for future posts.