Business Aviation Law Blog
Court Denies Motion to Reconsider March 2012 Ruling that EPA Does Not Have to Determine if Emissions from Aircraft Engines Contribute to Air Pollution
As previously posted in “U.S. District Judge Dismisses Environmental Group's Legal Suit to Force EPA to Regulate Aircraft Engine Emissions,” in March 2012, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) motion for summary judgment and refused to force the agency to determine if emissions from aircraft and ships “cause or contribute to dangerous air pollution.” On November 2, 2012, the Court denied a motion for reconsideration filed by the plaintiff environmental groups, finding that neither EPA’s proposed Power Plant Rule, 77 Fed. Reg. 22392, nor the Court of Appeal’s decision in Coalition for Responsible Regulation, Inc. v. EPA, 684 F.3d 102 (D.C. Cir. 2012) constitute newly discovered evidence. Nor did they demonstrate that the Court’s earlier order was based on an error of law or fact.
The environmental groups had argued that EPA’s newly proposed regulations for power plants could be applied to other sources, such as aircraft, and constituted new evidence that warrants reconsideration by the Court. But, the Court found that the regulations were only proposed and that the agency was still accepting public comment. Further, the Court did not accept the argument that the regulations could be applied to other sources because the proposed regulations relate to an entirely different section of the Clean Air Act. The Court went on to find that these facts, even if considered, would have no influence on the issue in the case: “whether Defendant EPA has unduly delayed in promulgating an endangerment determination for aircraft engines.”
A copy of the order can be found here.