Environment Reporter™ keeps you fully up to date on rapidly changing developments in courts, Congress, federal agencies, state legislatures, industry, and environmental organizations.
Nov. 13 --The South Coast Air Quality Management District has challenged an Environmental Protection Agency decision to remove the Morongo Band of Mission Indians tribal lands from within the air district's planning boundaries (S. Coast Air Quality Mgmt. Dist. v. EPA, 9th Cir., No. 13-73936, 11/12/13).
The petition for review was filed Nov. 12 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, targeting a final rule the EPA issued Sept. 24.
In the rule published Sept. 23, the EPA said the decision corrects an error in a 2003 rulemaking that designated, at the state's request, the Indian lands as part of the air district's planning area for the one-hour and 1997 eight-hour ozone standards (78 Fed. Reg. 58,189).
Only the federal government or the tribe has the authority to ask that the reservation become part of the South Coast air basin, the EPA said.
The Morongo tribe petitioned the EPA for the change in 2009, according to EPA's final rule.
By redrawing the SCAQMD's boundaries, the Morongo reservation ozone nonattainment status is reclassified from extreme to severe-17, a move that comes with less-restrictive air quality standards.
In its Jan. 25 written comments to EPA, the SCAQMD said creating a separate planning area for the reservation could “unfairly provide advantages to sources located on or seeking to locate on Morongo land as compared to sources in the adjacent’’ South Coast basin.
SCAQMD counsel Barbara Baird told Bloomberg BNA Nov. 13 that EPA failed to look at the final rules' potential impact on downwind sources that are subject to stricter air quality standards.
Major stationary sources in extreme nonattainment areas are those that emit 10 tons or more a year of volatile organic compounds or nitrogen oxides, Baird said. In severe-17 nonattainment areas, that threshold increases to 25 tons a year, she said.
Baird said she was unaware of any specific plans to build any new facilities on the reservation.
Any future new sources of air pollution on the reservation could adversely affect efforts to bring the South Coast air basin into attainment with federal clean air standards, according to the SCAQMD.
The SCAQMD's opening brief is due in the Ninth Circuit by Jan. 31. The EPA's response is due March 31.
To contact the reporter on this story: Carolyn Whetzel in Los Angeles at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)