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Amicus Brief on Interstate Air Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalized the “Close-Out Rule,” a rule refusing to impose any additional reductions in interstate ozone air pollution under the Good Neighbor Provision of the Clean Air Act. We submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit explaining how EPA’s decision to not require pollution reductions is irrational and devoid of adequate analysis.

The Good Neighbor Provision of the Clean Air Act aims to prevent upwind states from emitting pollution that will significantly contribute to downwind states’ air quality problems. EPA’s Close-Out Rule, however, does not order upwind states to adopt strategies to cut interstate emissions. To justify its decision, the agency falls back on analysis from the Cross-State Update, a prior rule that had provided only a partial remedy to interstate emissions. But reapplying that analysis is inappropriate because the Cross-State Update and the new rule have different goals. Our brief details how the new rule’s goal is to now provide a full remedy for interstate air pollution under the Good Neighbor Provision and how the agency’s analysis in the Close-Out Rule fails to comply with its obligations under the Clean Air Act.