EPA Hauled Into Court Over Lack of Airline Emissions Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency continues to find itself hauled into court, whether it’s over the Clean Power Plan or the Waters of the U.S. Rule. Now it’s been sued by two environmental groups and accused of acting too slowly on airline emissions contributing to climate change.

The suits were filed in the U.S. District Court in D.C. this week by the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth. They went to court because the EPA has not finalized its conclusion that airline emissions are a danger to people.

The EPA is not commenting publicly about the suit, but Vera Pardee, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute did.

“That’s outrageous because we shouldn’t have to sue,” she said, noting that a federal court ruled in July 2011 that the EPA had, under the Clean Air Act, to make a determination about the airline emissions. But the EPA isn’t expected to finish its determinations until this spring with regulations possibly adopted in 2018.

“This is not rocket science at all,” said Pardee whose suit asked the court to order the EPA to issue an endangerment finding within 30 days and propose emissions standards for airlines to meet.

Those would be standards, no doubt, that would apply to all airliners flying in Oklahoma and other states.