Lacking subject jurisdiction, a federal court in the District of Columbia has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) approval of a California rulemaking covering nonroad engines. Am. Road & Transp. Builders Ass’n v. EPA, No. 11-1713 (D.D.C. 6/7/12). Plaintiff had a history of filing challenges to regulations promulgated and amended under 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act (CAA). Filed in September 2011, the lawsuit sought review of EPA’s denial of plaintiff’s multiple petitions seeking repeal of rules that implemented section 209, as well as a rulemaking regarding California SI P revisions. Section 209, as amended, preempts state regulation of nonroad vehicle emissions, but subsection 209(e)(2) requires EPA under certain conditions to authorize California to adopt and enforce standards relating to the control of emissions from nonroad engines not named in subsection 209(3) (1). According to the court, plaintiff “seeks, in essence, a declaratory judgment approving its interpretation of that provision and requiring the EPA to amend its regulations accordingly. [Plaintiff] also asks this court to void decisions of the United States Supreme court and the D.C. Circuit.”
After reviewing the various CAA methods for challenging EPA actions, the court held that this specific challenge was to an EPA action refusing to repeal agency rules implementing section 209 of the CAA, an action that the court characterized as final action taken under the statute. According to the court, such actions may be reviewed by the federal courts of appeals only.