The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday rejected environmental groups’ challenge against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for delaying the implementation of new rules relating to power plant waste streams.
Through notice-and-comment rulemaking, the EPA revised compliance dates through a two-year delay from a 2015 promulgated rule. According to the court, the EPA changed only the earliest compliance dates, which had the potential to “impose needless compliance costs” and engaged in targeted rulemaking following a notice and comment period. The court affirmed that the EPA had the statutory authority to postpone and provided a sufficient basis for its decision.
The court “conclud[ed] that the EPA had statutory authority to pass this tailored rule, the agency explained its decisions adequately, its decision was reasonable, and it was thus neither arbitrary nor capricious.”