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EPA Delay of Enforcement Struck Down by Appeals Court

On Monday, an appeals court struck down the EPA’s 90 day suspension of new emissions standard on oil and gas wells. In a 2 to 1 ruling, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit determined that the EPA had the right to reconsider a 2016 rule cutting the amount of methane and smog-forming pollutants emitted by oil and gas wells. However the EPA could not delay the enforcement of the rule while it rewrote the regulation.

The EPA had proposed extending the initial delay for the rule for two years rather than 90 days. The EPA argued that the stay was not subject to judicial review because it did not constitute final action on the rule. The court rejected that interpretation, stating the EPA was essentially delaying the rule’s effective date and that such orders are tantamount to amending or revoking a rule.

Source: Chicago Tribune, The Hill, Washington Post

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