Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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EPA Settles Suit Over States’ Air-Quality Plans

(CN) - The Environmental Protection Agency will officially find that Alaska and Washington failed to submit plans for 2010 air-quality standards and pay $10,000 in attorneys' fees to settle a case brought by WildEarth Guardians.

WildEarth Guardians sued the EPA in 2013, claiming that the agency failed to ensure that Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming submitted state implementation plans (SIPs) for 2010 one-hour air-quality standards for nitrogen dioxide.

After the complaint was filed, nine of the 11 states submitted a SIP to the EPA for approval.

The parties entered a consent degree, signed by U.S. District Judge Brooke Jackson on Thursday, to settle the case.

Under the terms of the agreement, the EPA will enter an official finding that Alaska and Washington failed to submit a SIP for the 2010 nitrogen dioxide air-quality standards.

However, "the parties agree that this consent decree does not address any claim by Guardians that states are required to submit SIPs relating to the 2010 one-hour NO2 national ambient air quality standards," the agreement said.

The EPA will also pay the nonprofit $10,905 in attorneys' fees covering the cost of this litigation.

The District Court of Colorado will also retain jurisdiction over the case to hear any disputes that may arise from the implementation of the agreement.

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