D.C. Circuit opts to review challenge against EPA rollback of car emissions standards

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line associate editor | 11/26/2018

A federal appeals court opted not to rule on the Environmental Protection Agency’s request to throw out a lawsuit that challenges the Trump administration’s plan to roll back fuel efficiency and emissions standards for cars.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said on Nov. 21 that it will review the challenge from several states and environmental groups. The three-judge panel will hear the merits of the case before deciding whether or not to dismiss.

EPA determined in April that Obama-era regulations to increase the emission reduction standards for cars from 2021 until 2026 are unattainable.

“We’re thankful that the D.C. Circuit has rejected the Trump EPA’s attempt to evade review of its fact-free justification for attacking the clean-car standards,” Martha Roberts, senior attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a news release.

While this case is about emissions standards for cars, the EPA and environmental groups have also butted heads in attempts to roll back Obama-era regulations for heavy-duty trucks.

Last November, EPA attempted to repeal restrictions on gliders, but the proposal received significant opposition from environmental groups and never became a final rule. Under the current cap, glider manufacturers are limited to building 300 trucks in 2018.

EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said he the agency is still working on a way to keep gliders as an option for small-business truckers.

“Gliders make up a small but important part of the trucking industry and we’re continuing to work to address the gliders on a separate regulatory path,” Wheeler told Land Line Now earlier this month. “Our team is developing a legally sound approach to appropriately regulate gliders by working with the industry to improve the emissions profile of their operations and not by putting them out of business as is the case with the existing cap.”

 

 

Copyright © OOIDA