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States sue EPA over Clean Air Act compliance for oil refineries

[JURIST] New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo [official website] announced on Monday that twelve states have filed suit [press release] against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] for its alleged failure to enforce provisions of the Clean Air Act [text; EPA materials] requiring oil refineries to adopt measures curbing the pollution contributing to global warming. The lawsuit, filed in the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website], alleges that the EPA is required to issue so-called New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) [EPA materials] to oil refineries, power plants, and any other facility the EPA concludes emits air pollution posing a danger to public health. These standards, once issued, require the facility to install new technologies mitigating the release of such pollutants. According to the complaint, on June 24 the EPA finalized new air pollution control standards [PDF text] for oil refineries without issuing an NSPS, violating the Clean Air Act's protocols. Along with New York, the other states joining in the lawsuit are California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oregon, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, and Delaware. AP has more.

The lawsuit is the latest attempt by New York and several other states to force the EPA to comply with Clean Air Act terms requiring global warming pollution regulation. Last week, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] vacated [decision, PDF; JURIST report] a 2006 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] rule [Federal Register notice] prohibiting state and local governments from monitoring air pollution below acceptable levels set by the EPA for "stationary" sources such as power plants and factories. Earlier this year, 14 states sued the EPA over new smog regulations [JURIST report]. In 2006, a group of states sued the EPA [JURIST report] over its alleged failure to regulate smog emissions from power plants.

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