In a recent ruling, the court concluded that the defendants had made an enforceable commitment to develop, adopt, and submit by 2020 attainment contingency measures meeting the requirements of the Clean Air Act section 172(c)(9). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted that commitment, which now has the force of federal law.
The court found that the defendants violated this duty by failing to craft such contingency measures. As a result, the court will issue a remedial order to enforce this requirement. The court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and ordered the defendants to submit attainment contingency measures for approval by the EPA. The court emphasized that the submission must be made with sufficient time for the EPA to review and approve before the December 15, 2024, final attainment decision deadline.
The court’s decision underscores the importance of adherence to commitments made under the Clean Air Act and the role of the courts in enforcing these commitments to ensure the protection of air quality.