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EPA Proposes Completion Finding for Requirement to Promulgate Emissions Standards

Posted Monday, December 22nd, 2014

On December 16, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed that it has completed its statutory obligation under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to promulgate emissions standards for source categories accounting for at least 90% of the emissions of each of the seven hazardous air pollutants (HAP) listed in CAA section 112(c)(6).  The seven listed HAPs are: (1) alkylated lead compounds, (2) polycyclic organic matter, (3) hexachlorobenzene, (4) mercury, (5) polychlorinated biphenyls, (6) 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofurans, and (7) 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.  EPA was supposed to promulgate these required emissions standards by November 15, 2000, but failed to do so and was sued in 2001 by the Sierra Club for failure to timely satisfy this obligation.  Under a resulting court ordered deadline, which was extended several times, EPA published notice in 2011 announcing that it had promulgated standards sufficient to satisfy the 90% requirement.  However, that notice was vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia in 2012, which held that it should have been issued through a notice and comment rulemaking.  Subsequently, in 2013, the Sierra Club filed a motion with the district court seeking enforcement of the original court order, and, on July 25, 2014, the district court ordered EPA to initiate a notice and comment rulemaking before reissuing, reconsidering, or modifying its CAA section 112(c)(6) determination.  Accordingly, EPA has issued this proposed determination that it has fulfilled the requirements of CAA section 112(c)(6).

Comments on EPA’s proposal are due by February 17, 2015.

For additional information, contact Andrew Holway.

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