[author: Ellen Cordell]
On May 31, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the EPA to sign a proposed rule setting air particulate standards by June 7, 2012. (See American Lung Ass’n v. EPA, D.D.C., No. 1:12-cv-243). Further, the court held publication of the rule in the Federal Register must be expedited with the period for public comment set for nine weeks.
The EPA is required to consider revisions to air quality standards every five years, but missed the last deadline in October 2011. In an effort to compel the EPA to issue revised particulate matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the case was originally filed by the American Lung Association, National Parks Conservation Association, and the states of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The court in American Lung Ass’n, determined the EPA did not provide a reasonable explanation as to why rulemaking had not yet occurred following EPA’s failure to revise the standards in October 2011.