Sierra Club Sues EPA over NC SSM SIP Call Withdrawal
July 27, 2020
On June 29, 2020, the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Clean Air Carolina, and Environmental Integrity Project filed a Petition for Review with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (DC Circuit Court) challenging a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final rule that approved revisions to North Carolina's State Implementation Plan (SIP) and withdrew the SIP Call issued to North Carolina for exemptions contained in the state's existing SIP-approved provisions for startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM) events.
The rule titled, "SIP Call Withdrawal and Air Plan Approval; NC: Large Internal Combustion Engines NOX" became effective on May 28, 2020 and represented an alternative policy to the National SIP Call final rule published in the Federal Register in 2015. The 2015 National SIP Call Rule (FR Vol. 80, No. 113, Friday, June 12, 2015) was a response to petition for rulemaking filed by the Sierra Club concerning SSM operations and issued SIP calls to 36 states, including North Carolina after determining that they did not meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).
The Sierra Club et al. filed a similar petition for review when EPA withdrew the SIP Call for Texas in January 2020.