Last week, a federal district court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to complete its “risk and technology review” of existing hazardous air pollutant (HAP) rules for 20 industrial sectors within three years. The order comes in response to a lawsuit filed by environmentalists arguing that EPA is years overdue in completing reviews required by the Clean Air Act (CAA). Specifically, the CAA requires EPA to determine whether the HAP standards it has already adopted, though intended to be highly stringent, nevertheless still allow enough HAP emissions to present a risk to public health that may warrant additional restrictions. The industry sectors identified in the court’s order include municipal solid waste landfills, asphalt processing, and stationary combustion turbines. Whereas the challengers had sought a review schedule of one to two years, and EPA asked for a five-year schedule, the court selected a middle ground of three years for EPA to complete all of the reviews. Notably, that will require EPA to complete all of the reviews within the Trump administration.
A copy of the opinion is available here. If you have questions about this order, please contact Mack McGuffey or Andy Flavin.