In the Federal Register published on September 4, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of proposed consent decree for Center for Biological Diversity, et al., v. Wheeler, No. 4:18-cv-03544 (N.D. Cal.). The proposed consent decree would establish deadlines for EPA to take specific action related to the administration of several sulfur dioxide (SO2) State Implementation Plans (SIPs). Written comments on the proposed consent decree must be received by October 4, 2019.
In Center for Biological Diversity, the plaintiffs alleged that the Administrator of the EPA failed to perform non-discretionary duties set by the Clean Air Act. Under the proposed consent decree, the Administrator of the EPA would be compelled to approve or disapprove several SIPs submitted to meet attainment requirements under the 2010 primary sulfur dioxide (SO2) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The Administrator would also be required to issue findings of failure to submit SO2 SIPs for certain areas.
The lawsuit specifically seeks to compel EPA action under CAA section 110(k)(2)-(4) on SO2 SIPs submitted for the Indianapolis, Indiana; Morgan County, Indiana; Southwest Indiana; Terre Haute, Indiana; Muscatine, Iowa; Detroit, Michigan; Jackson County, Missouri; Lake County, Ohio; Muskingum River, Ohio; Steubenville, Ohio-West Virginia; Rhinelander, Wisconsin; Hayden, Arizona; Miami, Arizona; Jefferson County, Kentucky; Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Beaver, Pennsylvania; Indiana, Pennsylvania; and Marshall, West Virginia SO2 nonattainment areas. The lawsuit also seeks to compel EPA action under CAA section 110(k)(1)(B) to find failure to submit SO2 SIPs for the New Jersey portion of the Northeast Pennsylvania-Upper Delaware Valley Interstate Air Quality Control Region; Alton Township, Illinois; Williamson County, Illinois; Anne Arundel County and Baltimore County, Maryland; and St. Clair, Michigan SO2 nonattainment areas.
Environmental Protection Agency, Proposed Consent Decree, Clean Air Act Citizen Suit, Federal Register, (Sep. 4, 2019) https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/09/04/2019-19100/proposed-consent- decree-clean-air act-citizen-suit