On April 18th, EPA filed motions in separate cases asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to delay pending litigation over two Clean Air Act (CAA) rules. In one case, EPA asked the court to delay oral argument, scheduled for May 18th, in the litigation challenging its supplemental findings regarding the cost of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Rule, which regulates hazardous air pollutant emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants. EPA argues that a continuance is appropriate because it intends to review the supplemental finding for possible modification or repeal, citing President Trump’s recent “Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.”
In another case before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, EPA is likewise seeking to postpone May 8th oral arguments in litigation challenging EPA’s 2015 Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction (SSM) Rule. EPA issued a finding with the rule that provisions in 36 states’ state implementation plans (SIPs) failed to meet CAA requirements for SSM events, as well as a “SIP call” requiring each state to fix identified inadequacies. Numerous parties challenged the Obama Administration’s SSM actions, and EPA is now requesting a continuance to allow it to review the SSM actions for possible modification or repeal.