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EPA Cannot Grant Dirty Air Grace Periods
Description Sierra Club protest of EPA grant of a one-year grace period for non-compliance with Clean Air Act standards deemed in conflict with clear language of statute by Court of Appeals.
Topic Administrative Law
Key Words Regulation, Clean Air Act, Nonattainment
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts The Clean Air Act states that areas are to be denied federal transportation funding assistance if not in compliance with air pollution requirements. In 1995, EPA issued regulations providing a one-year grace period for certain nonattainment areas for ozone, CO, PM-10, or NO2. The Sierra Club protested that the regulation is contrary to the Clean Air Act; EPA asserted that the timing of compliance is within its authority.
Court of Appeals Decision Sierra Club's petition for review granted. "Congress ... did not provide any grace periods or other exemptions for areas redesignated from 'attainment' to 'nonattainment' status....EPA's proposed grace period exempting designated nonattainment areas from the Clean Air Act's transportation conformity requirements violates the plain terms of the Act and, therefore, is unlawful."
Citation Sierra Club v. EPA, ---F.3d--- (1997 WL 679475, D.C. Cir.)
129 f. 3d 137 (D.C. Cir., 1997)

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