7th Circuit rejects Indiana appeal of EPA ruling

August 10, 2015

Indiana had standing to appeal EPA approval of a change in how Illinois monitors for auto emissions, but the state failed to show the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision was arbitrary and capricious, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

The Chicago area, in which EPA includes Indiana’s Lake and Porter counties, was classified as a nonattainment area for ozone pollution after Illinois changed its vehicle inspection and maintenance program required by the Clean Air Act.

Indiana objected to a 2005 change that it says caused a measurement in excess of EPA limits for ozone pollution. Before that time, Illinois tested nearly all vehicle emissions, but changed the law that year to exclude testing of pre-1996 model-year cars and trucks.

EPA approved Illinois’ state improvement plan several years later that incorporated the 2005 change over Indiana’s objection, resulting in this review, State of Indiana v. Environmental Protection Agency, 14-3214.

“On the preliminary question of whether a justiciable controversy exists, we conclude that Indiana has standing to bring this petition for review. However, because EPA did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in approving the SIP revision, we deny Indiana’s petition,” Judge Joel Flaum wrote for the panel.



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