ILNews

Indiana among states wanting SCOTUS to clear the air on pollution standard

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A coalition of 14 states, including Indiana, are headed to the Supreme Court of the United States Dec. 10 to argue that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has overstepped its authority, again, in trying to regulate air pollution in upwind states.

At issue is the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, known as CSAPR or the Transport Rule. This regulation requires upwind states to reduce their power plant emissions that contribute to the ozone and fine particle matter in downwind states.

The 14 states assert the EPA overreached its statutory authority by imposing a federal implementation plan before allowing the states to submit their own implementation plans. Under the terms set by the Clean Air Act, Washington, D.C., and the individual states engage in a regime of cooperative federalism where the federal administration sets the standards then the states offer their proposals for meeting those standards.

The EPA contends it had previously found that the states subject to the Transport Rule had either submitted an inadequate SIP or failed to tender a plan altogether.

“Fundamentally, this case is about federalism and agency consideration of undefined statutory terms,” said Kevin Lyskowski, partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Faegre Baker Daniels. “It’s an interesting and significant case. There’ll be a lot of people looking to see how the Supreme Court rules.”

Neither side disputes that the Clean Air Act employs a regime of cooperative federalism and that states get the first crack to meet the federal standards, Lyskowski said. The disagreement centers about what “first crack” means.

The U.S. Supreme Court has consolidated two cases concerning the Transport Rule, EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, 12-1182, and American Lung Association v. EME Homer City Generation, 12-1183, and is allowing 90 minutes for oral arguments.

Twenty-eight states are subject to the Transport Rule. They have split into two groups with one group supporting the standard and the other group opposing. Fourteen states, led by Texas and including Indiana, are fighting the rule.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office as the state of Indiana’s lawyer signed on the respondent brief filed by Texas.

“Challenges filed by states are one way federal regulatory actions are tested to determine whether they are valid,” said Bryan Corbin, spokesman for the Indiana Attorney General. “Such challenges are a normal and healthy part of the process and they respectfully bring to the nation’s highest court the question of federal overreach so the Court can decide.”

The Transport Rule was formulated after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found the EPA exceeded its statutory authority with the 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule.

The court allowed the agency to develop a replacement rule but kept the CAIR in place until a new standard took its place.

Finalized in July 2011, the Transport Rule was immediately challenged. A split U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia vacated the new rule in August. 2012, finding, again, the EPA had overstepped.

The Court of Appeals agreed that the EPA did not allow the states to develop their own plans for emission reductions. It also held that the Transport Rule could require upwind states to cut their pollution by more than their own contributions to downwind states’ nonattainment.

“I think it’s significant when any court strikes down a federal regulation,” Lyskowski said. “This is a regulation that had broad impact.”

In March 2013, the EPA petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. The agency questioned whether the Court of Appeals had jurisdiction to consider the challenges to CSAPR. It also raised the issues of whether states are excused from reducing emissions until the EPA adopts a new rule and whether the Clean Air Act requires the agency to consider only each upwind state’s proportionate responsibility for each downwind air quality problem.



 


 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

ADVERTISEMENT