EPA Sued for Failure to Regulate Aircraft GHGs

April 12, 2016 – The Center for Biological Diversity (the Center) and Friends of the Earth (FoE) filed a complaint against EPA in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for the agency’s alleged unreasonable delay in complying with Section 231 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).  Specifically, the plaintiffs contend that EPA has delayed unreasonably 1) issuing an endangerment finding determining that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from aircraft engines cause or significantly contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare and 2) promulgating regulations to limit such emissions.  The Center and FoE petitioned EPA in 2007 to issue an endangerment finding and set emission standards and in 2011 the U.S. District Court for D.C. held that EPA has a compulsory duty to issue an endangerment finding determining whether aircraft GHG emissions cause or contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health and welfare.   EPA issued a proposed finding of endangerment in July 2015 but has not yet issued a final action.  The plaintiffs now ask the court to 1) declare EPA’s delay in issuing a final determination on endangerment relative to aircraft GHG emissions to be unreasonable and direct EPA to issue such a determination within 30 days following entry of the court’s judgment and 2) declare that if EPA finds that aircraft GHG emissions cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare, the agency must initiate a rulemaking under CAA Section 231 to set standards to limit such emissions and propose such standards within 30 days following entry of the court’s judgment.