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EPA Receives One Month Extension For Final IB MACT Rules (1/21/11)

On January 20, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a one month extension of the deadline for issuing the final CISWI Rule and IB-MACT Rules for area sources and major sources. The new deadline is February 21, 2011. The highly anticipated ruling dismissed EPA’s request to extend the deadline by allowing reproposal of the rules by June 1, 2011 and finalizing the rules by April 13, 2012. In the event the Court did not grant the extension for reproposal, EPA also requested an alternate deadline of June 15, 2011 to address the remaining comments and finalize the rules. In the ruling, the Court tossed aside EPA’s argument for reproposal on the grounds that EPA did not provide sufficient evidence that it would be impossible to promulgate “substantively adequate regulations” by the original deadline. One of EPA’s main arguments for the extension was that the additional time would result in more defensible rules due to significant issues in the proposed rules that were raised during the comment period. However, the Court stated that EPA did not actually assert that the rules were flawed or inadequate but rather that they were concerned that the rules would be challenged. The Court agreed with Sierra Club in that such issues could be addressed through administrative reconsideration rather than reproposal, which would allow the effective date of the final rule to remain in place. The Court also dismissed EPA’s request for an alternative deadline to address the remaining comments, stating that EPA did not provide sufficient evidence that such an extension was warranted. The Court stated that EPA did not provide an indication of how many of the original 4,800 comments were significant and had yet to be addressed nor did EPA provide any details on current or potential resource allocation that might be relevant in considering an alternative deadline. Nonetheless, the Court decided to provide an additional month for EPA to complete their response to comments.

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Last Revised: February 21, 2013