EPA Asks Court To Let it Delay Obama Air Pollution Rule

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The Trump administration asked a federal appeals court on 7 July to allow it to delay enforcement of an Obama administration rule to limit methane pollution from oil and natural gas drilling.

Justice Department lawyers representing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) objected to the 3 July ruling from the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that mandated that the EPA immediately enforce the methane regulation, which the Trump administration had tried to delay so that it could go through a full repeal process.

In their 7 July motion to the court, the attorneys said the circuit court would normally hold off on enforcing its ruling for 52 days, to allow the Justice Department to decide whether it would appeal the ruling.

“By taking the unusual step of directing that the mandate issue forthwith, the court required immediate compliance with its decision (and, therefore, compliance with the full scope of the 2016 rule, including those provisions that are being reconsidered), notwithstanding that EPA and regulated parties would ordinarily be provided with 52 days, or longer, before compliance was required,” the attorneys wrote.

Such a delay by the court would allow the EPA to once again hold off on enforcing the standards on the oil and gas industry.

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