Political Animal


June 16, 2012 11:14 AM U.S. District Court Forces EPA to Update Soot Regulations

By Randolph Brickey

It’s been widely reported for the past day or two that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA has issued new, more protective regulations governing the emissions of soot from refineries and other large, industrial emitters. This action is the product of intensive litigation by the American Lung Association, several environmental NGOs, and 11 states, which produced this court order.

Industrial and lobbying groups are expected to fight the proposed rule and Republicans are expected to use the proposed rule as campaign fodder.

In order to obtain this court order, the plaintiffs had to show that the EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act was not only wrong, but not even based on a permissible interpretation of the Clean Air Act. It is unfortunate the the Obama Administration may draw more criticism for being forced to pass this rule than they have for refusing to pass this rule to the detriment of public health and without lawful basis.

Randolph Brickey is an attorney in solo practice in Northern Virginia.


  • c u n d gulag on June 16, 2012 12:07 PM:

    If/when Republicans get back in power, this soot will be redefined as a carbon snack-chip for the lungs.


    Just dip in some acid rain, or arsenic-infused water - and, VOILA! Chips 'n dip!

  • RaflW on June 16, 2012 4:38 PM:

    One might imagine that if EPA had willingly passed the soot rule under Obama, that the GOP would have found a way to summarily fire Lisa Jackson or make her life (more of) a living hell.

    Or radically defund EPA, etc. Maybe the Obama admin didn't actually want these rules, but I'd be kind of surprised by that. I lean towards the 'decide which fights with the lunatic party are worth it' strategy.

    Having a court force EPA gives Obama & Jackson at least some cover.

  • bob h on June 18, 2012 6:08 AM:

    Republicans apparently are cool with lung cancer.