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United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
September 15, 2008, Argued; February 24, 2009, Decided
No. 06-1410 Consolidated with 06-1411, 06-1415, 06-1416, 06-1417
[*515] [**86] Opinion for the Court filed PER CURIAM.
PER CURIAM: In these consolidated cases, [***5] we consider several challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency's most recent revision of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter. Because the agency promulgated standards for fine particulate matter that were, in several respects, contrary to law and unsupported by adequately reasoned decisionmaking, we grant the petitions for review in part and remand those standards to the agency for further proceedings. We deny the petitions for review of the agency's standards for coarse particulate matter because those standards are not arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise contrary to law.
A. Background to the 2006 Rulemaking
Particulate Matter Pollution
This case is about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulation of particulate matter (PM), an air pollutant. ] PM includes "a broad class of chemically and physically diverse substances that exist as discrete particles (liquid droplets or solids) over a wide range of sizes." Final Rule: National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter, 71 Fed. Reg. 61,143, 61,146 (2006). Within this general definition, PM is classified based on factors such as particle size, origin, and chemical composition. [***6] The EPA primarily uses particle size to classify PM, distinguishing between "fine PM" and "coarse PM."
Fine and coarse PM differ in ways other than size. Fine PM is produced chiefly by combustion processes and atmospheric reactions of gaseous pollutants; sources include motor vehicles, power generation, and residential fuel burning. Coarse PM tends to result from mechanical processes or the resuspension of dusts in the air; sources include construction and demolition activities as well as agricultural and mining operations. The two types of PM also exhibit different atmospheric behavior: while fine PM can remain suspended for long periods of time and travel great distances, coarse PM tends to deposit rapidly and does not travel as far.
The EPA further notes that "it is appropriate to draw a distinction between two general types of ambient mixes of coarse particles: 'urban' and 'non-urban.'" Id. at 61,185 n.66. "Urban" coarse "characterizes the mix in more heavily populated urban areas, where sources such as motor vehicles and industry contribute heavily to ambient coarse particle concentrations and composition." Id. In contrast, "non-urban" coarse "encompasses mixes in a variety of other [***7] locations outside of urbanized areas, including mixes in rural areas which are likely to be dominated by natural crustal materials." Id. The EPA cautions, however, that this is not a sharp distinction because "some types of sources are present in both urban and non-urban areas." Id.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
559 F.3d 512 *; 385 U.S. App. D.C. 83 **; 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 3562 ***; 39 ELR 20042; 68 ERC (BNA) 1417
AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION AND NATIONAL PORK PRODUCERS COUNCIL, PETITIONERS v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, RESPONDENT; AMERICAN CHEMISTRY COUNCIL, ET AL., INTERVENORS
Prior History: [***1] On Petitions for Review of an Order of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Am. Farm Bureau Fed'n v. EPA, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 18262 (D.C. Cir., July 31, 2007)
coarse, annual, studies, exposure, fine, indicator, particles, final rule, staff, short-term, concentrations, levels, nonurban, long-term, revised, risk assessment, recommended, visibility, public health, environmental, pollutant, secondary, urban, petition for review, air quality, regulation, air, averaging, effects, target
Environmental Law, Air Quality, Emission Standards, General Overview, Administrative Law, Judicial Review, Standards of Review, Deference to Agency Statutory Interpretation, Arbitrary & Capricious Standard of Review, Business & Corporate Compliance, Environmental Law, National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Abuse of Discretion, Administrative Record, Agency Rulemaking, Formal Rulemaking, Remedies, Reviewability, Exhaustion of Remedies