A southeast Colorado man who suffers a lung condition and sued the Environmental Protection Agency claiming it wrongly certified the state’s compliance with air quality standards has lost his case with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
Robert Ukeiley lives in Lamar where the winds blow nearly constantly and create dust storms that affecting his breathing. He filed suit after the EPA granted dozens of exemptions and exclusions of Colorado meeting compliance days with the Clean Air Act in 2016.
Colorado asked that 55 days where the Lamar area experienced non-compliance be allowed as exceptions and the EPA agreed. Ukeiley sued, contending the EPA arbitrarily and capriciously applied the exceptional events standard found in the Clean Air Act.
But the appeals court ruled otherwise and said the EPA was correct in its rulings about the windy days around Lamar. The court even sided its own ruling by stating, “Socrates is said to have observed, ‘the same wind is blowing, and yet one of us may be cold and the other not.'”
It ruled that Ukeiley hoped his personal interpretation of “exceptional” would override Congress’s statutory definition, but the court said otherwise.