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D.C. Circuit Vacates PM2.5 Increments Rule

Posted Friday, January 25th, 2013

On January 22, 2013, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia vacated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2010 rule establishing significant impact levels (SILs) and significant monitoring concentrations (SMCs) in relation to the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), also known as EPA’s Increments Rule.  The court agreed with the Sierra Club that EPA did not have the authority to establish SILs and SMCs, which exempt a source from certain permitting requirements if a project’s impacts are less than the specified levels and concentrations.  As previously reported in the November 7, 2011, HGS Environmental Update, the PM2.5 Increments Rule is currently incorporated into Florida’s rules by reference.  A copy of the opinion is available here.

For additional information, contact Robert Manning.

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