EDF, Allies Ask to Join Lawsuit in Defense of EPA’s Reinstatement of State Clean Car Authority

May 20, 2022
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – May 20, 2022) Ten science and environmental groups – including Environmental Defense Fund – have asked to go to court to defend EPA’s reinstatement of a waiver of preemption that allows states to set protective clean car standards.

The groups filed their motion to intervene with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today asking to participate in lawsuits opposing EPA’s decision.

“Thanks to the Clean Air Act waiver provision, states across the country have adopted clean car standards that will protect people’s health and save them money on fuel, while also helping to create new jobs and address the climate crisis,” said EDF senior attorney Alice Henderson. “Opponents of the waiver have been trying to create unlawful roadblocks to state progress on clean transportation. We will defend EPA’s decision to clear those roadblocks and let states from California to Colorado to Minnesota to Maine continue leading the way toward a clean transportation future for us all.”

The Clean Air Act includes a waiver provision that allows California to adopt standards to protect people from the unhealthy air pollution emitted by cars and trucks. In the 54 years since Congress enacted that provision, EPA granted almost every waiver the state sought, and 16 other states have also adopted California’s innovative clean car standards.

The previous administration attempted to revoke the waiver provision, but in March the Biden EPA reinstated it. A coalition of states led by Ohio, along with the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Association and biofuels groups, then filed lawsuits challenging the reinstatement.

Today EDF and the Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Air Council, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Law & Policy Center, National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Public Citizen, Sierra Club, and Union of Concerned Scientists asked the D.C. Circuit for permission to join the case in support of EPA’s action. A coalition of 20 states and three cities have also moved to intervene in defense of EPA.

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund