A coalition of 14 states and two cities has sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Administrator Scott Pruitt, alleging that the agency had violated a non-discretionary duty under the Clean Air Act to promulgate regulations governing methane emissions from existing sources that produce, process and distribute oil and natural gas.

The complaint claims that since the EPA promulgated New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) regulations in 2016 for methane emissions from new oil and gas sources under Section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act, Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act allegedly triggered a corresponding mandatory duty to issue emission guidelines for methane emissions from existing oil and gas sources.

Among other relief, the complaint requests that the District Court for the District of Columbia order the EPA "to propose and subsequently promulgate" such emission guidelines. The EPA is in the process of reconsidering its 2016 NSPS governing methane emissions from new oil and gas sources. A previous challenge in the DC Circuit to the 2016 NSPS has been held in abeyance while the EPA completes its reconsideration of the regulations.

For further information on this topic please contact Samuel B Boxerman or Jim Wedeking at Sidley Austin LLP by telephone (+1 202 736 8000) or email (sboxerman@sidley.com or jwedeking@sidley.com). The Sidley Austin LLP website can be accessed at www.sidley.com.

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