News and Events Involving Environmental Law, Published by Chicago Environmental Attorney Dave Scriven-Young
of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. -- (312) 881-6309

Illinois Attorney General Wins Lawsuit Over Trump Administration Regarding Smog Regulations

A federal judge has ruled that the Trump administration failed to timely designate the areas of the country that have “attainment” (meeting) or “nonattainment” (not meeting) with the ground-level ozone standards established in 2015.  When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency missed an October 1, 2017 deadline, fourteen states (including Illinois), the District of Columbia, and several environmental organizations sued.

The court issued an order on March 12, 2018 that granted the plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment, ruling that there was no dispute as to liability because EPA admitted that it failed to timely promulgate the initial area air quality designations.  The court also ordered the EPA to promulgate by April 30, 2018 designations for all areas, excluding the San Antonio, Texas area.  The EPA must promulgate final designations for the San Antonio area no later than 127 days from the date of the order.

The lesson to be learned here is that the states and environmental organizations will use the court system to correct any inadequacies of the Trump administration that they see when it comes to enforcing or promulgating environmental rules and regulations.  We saw this first in the immigration debate, and we are now seeing the courts being used in the same manner in the environmental context.  We will continue to see these types of challenges.

You can read the court’s opinion here.


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