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United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
November 6, 2019, Argued; July 10, 2020, Decided
No. 18-1203 Consolidated with 18-1205, 18-1206, 18-1208, 18-1212, 18-1214
[**108] [*1152] Opinion for the court filed Per Curiam.
In these consolidated petitions, [***4] several environmental organizations, municipal governments, and the State of Illinois challenge area designations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) applicable to ground-level ozone, i.e., smog. Insisting that EPA failed to meet its basic obligation of reasoned decisionmaking for many of the designations, petitioners ask us to vacate those designations and send EPA back to the drawing board. In response, EPA disputes certain petitioners' standing, requests a voluntary remand of some designations, and defends other designations on their merits. For the following reasons, we find that at least one petitioner has standing to challenge each of the designations at issue, grant several of the petitions, deny one petition, and grant EPA's motion to remand the rest.
We have previously summarized the governing regulatory framework, and we [*1153] [**109] draw on those decisions in providing an overview of the statutory provisions and the agency proceedings relevant to this case. See Miss. Comm'n on Envtl. Quality v. EPA, 790 F.3d 138, 416 U.S. App. D.C. 69 (D.C. Cir. 2015) (per curiam) (reviewing area designations for the 2008 ozone NAAQS); Catawba Cty. v. EPA, 571 F.3d 20, 387 U.S. App. D.C. 20 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (per curiam) (same for 1997 particulate matter NAAQS).
] "Congress enacted the Clean Air Act (the Act), [***5] 42 U.S.C. §§ 7401 et seq., 'to protect and enhance the quality of the Nation's air resources so as to promote the public health and welfare and the productive capacity of its population.'" Miss. Comm'n, 790 F.3d at 144 (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 7401(b)(1)). Under the Act, EPA must establish and periodically revise NAAQS for pollutants that "may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare." 42 U.S.C. § 7408(a)(1)(A). A NAAQS establishes the maximum permissible ambient—i.e., outdoor—air concentration for these so-called "criteria" pollutants. A network of air monitoring stations, known as monitors, measure pollutant concentrations and record violations of the NAAQS.
] After EPA promulgates a new or revised NAAQS, the agency must designate each "area" in the United States as "attainment," "nonattainment," or "unclassifiable." See id. § 7407(d)(1)(A)(i)-(iii). Generally, areas that meet the relevant NAAQS are designated as attainment; areas that exceed the NAAQS as nonattainment; and areas that "permit no determination given existing data" as unclassifiable. Id. Under the Act, however, even an area whose ambient air concentration complies with the relevant NAAQS must be designated as nonattainment if it "contributes" to a NAAQS violation in a "nearby area." Id. § 7407(d)(1)(A)(i). "[C]ontributes," "nearby," and "area" [***6] are undefined in the Act.
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964 F.3d 1145 *; 448 U.S. App. D.C. 101 **; 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 21428 ***; 50 ELR 20170; __ Fed. Appx. __; 2020 WL 3886197
CLEAN WISCONSIN, PETITIONER v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY AND ANDREW WHEELER, ADMINISTRATOR, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, RESPONDENTS. BCCA APPEAL GROUP, ET AL., INTERVENORS
Prior History: [***1] On Petitions for Review of a Final Agency Action of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
designations, ozone, monitor, violating, emissions, nonattainment, attainment, Lake, contributes, petitioners', Door, Air, modeling, northern, Environmental, trajectories, quotation, marks, declaration, Comments, ambient air quality, promulgate, nearby, Recommended, exceedances, Reply, pollution, injuries, technical support, air quality
Business & Corporate Compliance, Environmental Law, Air Quality, National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Environmental Law, State Implementation Plans, Administrative Proceedings & Litigation, Judicial Review, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Standing, Elements, Third Party Standing, Nonattainment Areas, Governments, State & Territorial Governments, Claims By & Against, Civil Procedure, Justiciability, Injury in Fact, Local Governments, Burdens of Proof, Particular Parties, Administrative Law, Judicial Review, Standards of Review, Arbitrary & Capricious Standard of Review, Deference to Agency Statutory Interpretation, Remand & Remittitur