Wild Earth Guardians and the Sierra Club have sued EPA in a federal court in California alleging that the agency has failed to take final action in a timely manner on at least six states’ revised infrastructure state implementation plans (SIPs) and failed to submit a sufficient plan for 32 states for controlling fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Wild Earth Guardians v. Jackson, No. 11-0190 (N.D. Cal. 01/12/11).
Plaintiffs claim that EPA has failed to perform its mandatory duties with respect to these plans, and they seek an order requiring the agency to perform these duties, costs, attorney’s fees, and expert witness fees. According to the complaint, the CAA requires each state to submit an infrastructure SIP for every change of a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) within three years of that revision.
EPA last enacted a revision to the NAAQS for particulate matter in 2006, triggering a state requirement to submit infrastructure SIPs on which the agency is required to take final action within 12 months “of the date a submittal is deemed administratively complete.” Between 2008 and 2009, the agency deemed as complete the infrastructure SIPs in six states but failed to take final action on the plans. The complaint also alleges that for an additional 32 states and territories that have failed to submit the required plans, EPA has failed to find that those states have not complied with the CAA obligation to submit such plans.