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Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., and Coalition For A Safe v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

February 8, 2011

NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL, INC., AND COALITION FOR A SAFE ENVIRONMENT, A CALIFORNIA NON-PROFIT CORPORATION, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, LISA JACKSON, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, AND JARED BLUMENFELD, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR FOR REGION IX OF THE UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Margaret M. Morrow United States District Court Judge

IGNACIA S. MORENO Assistant Attorney General Environment & Natural Resources Division MICHELLE R. LAMBERT Trial Attorney U.S. Department of Justice Environment & Natural Resources Division Environmental Defense Section U.S. Department of Justice P.O. Box 23986 Washington, DC 20026-3986 Telephone: (202) 616-7501 Facsimile: (202) 514-8865 Email: michelle.lambert@usdoj.gov Attorneys for Defendants

CONSENT DECREE

WHEREAS, on August 12, 2010, Plaintiffs Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. and Coalition for a Safe Environment filed the complaint in the above-captioned matter against Defendants United States Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa P. Jackson, in her official capacity as Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and Jared Blumenfeld, in his official capacity as Regional Administrator for Region IX of the United States Protection Agency (collectively, "EPA"), alleging that EPA failed to fulfill certain non-discretionary duties under the Clean Air Act ("CAA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 7401-7671q, and that such alleged failure is actionable under section 304(a)(2) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7604(a)(2);

WHEREAS, section 110(a)(1) of the CAA , 42 U.S.C. § 7410(a)(1), requires States to adopt and submit to EPA for review state implementation plans ("SIPs"), which establish specific control measures and other requirements that apply to particular sources of air pollution within a State and are designed to attain, maintain, and enforce National Ambient Air Quality Standards ("NAAQS") established by EPA that specify the maximum permissible concentrations for those pollutants in the ambient air, see 42 U.S.C. §§ 7408, 7409;

WHEREAS, in 1997, EPA established an 8-hour ozone NAAQS and a 24-hour and an annual fine particulate matter ("PM2.5") NAAQS;

WHEREAS, EPA designated the South Coast Air Basin as "nonattainment" under section 107(d) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. § 7407(d), for the 1997 ozone and PM2.5 NAAQS;

WHERAS, States are required to submit SIP revisions for designated "nonattainment" areas;

WHEREAS, section 110(k) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. § 7410(k), sets forth the process by which EPA is to review SIP submissions, including revisions;

WHEREAS, if EPA finalizes a rulemaking disapproving the SIP revisions at issue in this litigation, sanctions would apply pursuant to section 179(b) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. § 7509(b), and 40 C.F.R. § 52.31;

WHEREAS, Plaintiffs' complaint alleges that EPA has a non-discretionary duty to act within the time lines set forth in section 110(k)(2) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. § 7410(k)(2), on SIP submissions and revisions submitted to EPA;

WHEREAS, Plaintiffs' complaint alleges that EPA has failed to take final action within time lines set forth in section 110(k)(2) of the CAA to approve or disapprove (1) the State Strategy for the 2007 State Implementation Plan ("2007 State SIP"), submitted to EPA on November 16, 2007, and (2) the 2007 Air Quality Management Plan for the South Coast Air Quality Management District ("2007 South Coast SIP"), submitted to EPA on November 28, 2007;

WHEREAS, through discussions, the parties have limited the scope of this Consent Decree to address only those elements of the 2007 State SIP and 2007 South Coast SIP that were submitted by the State of California in response to EPA's designations of "nonattainment" for the South Coast Air Basin with respect to the 1997 NAAQS for ozone and PM2.5;

WHEREAS, Plaintiffs' complaint seeks an order from this court directing EPA to take final action on the agreed to portions of 2007 ...


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