Attorneys General Sue EPA, Claiming Illegal Delay of Landfill Regulation

June 1, 2018 – Eight state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) late Thursday alleging the agency is breaking the law by failing to enforce landfill methane regulations.

The regulation at issue is a 2016 guideline developed to help solid waste landfills reduce emissions. While the guideline went into effect in October 2016, the Trump administration has since delayed the rule, saying it will instead complete a reconsideration of it by the spring of 2020.

The attorneys general say the multiyear delay is a violation of the Clean Air Act.

“We will not turn a blind eye as he illegally refuses to implement this critical landfill methane regulation,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a statement. “Climate change is the most important global environmental issue of our time. We must act to address it now for the sake of our children.”

Other states joining the lawsuit are Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Landfills are the third largest source of human related methane emissions in the country. The attorneys general argue that the regulation not only helps to cut the pollution but also the stench in neighboring communities.

The suit is the second filed against the EPA this week. Becerra and two other state attorneys general also sued the EPA on Wednesday over suspended safeguards for agricultural workers handling pesticides.

California has taken the lead in challenging EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s regulatory rollbacks dealing largely with pollution and climate change.

By Miranda Green, The Hill
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