CLF Takes EPA to Court for Allowing Landfills to Pollute

Scott Pruitt is trying to roll back important regulations that protect our air, and our health. Photo by Igor Motov via creative commons

President Trump’s EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, is on a crusade to pollute our air by rolling back important rules that keep New England – and the rest of the U.S. – safe from dangerous emissions. But in his rush to shut down important rules that protect our air, water, and health, Pruitt has started cutting corners.

Pruitt Has Already Lost One Major Legal Challenge

Earlier this summer, a coalition of public interest groups sued Pruitt over EPA’s attempt to halt a key rule that limits climate-warming methane and other dangerous emissions from the oil and gas industry. A federal court ruled against Pruitt and reversed the halt, finding that EPA had no good reason for hitting pause on this important rule.

The court confirmed that Pruitt cannot just do big-industry’s bidding. There are important processes his agency must follow if it wants to suspend regulations, including providing a good reason for halting existing rules and giving the public an opportunity to comment and weigh in. And no matter what, EPA still has to follow the Clean Air Act, which mandates strong protections for clean air and human health.

CLF Is Holding the Trump EPA Accountable

We’re now following up on this victory against EPA on methane. CLF is bringing down the hammer on Administrator Pruitt for attempting to skirt the law and let his big business buddies pollute the air we all breathe.

Today, CLF filed a court motion challenging Pruitt’s decision to suspend long-standing rules that limit hazardous and climate-warming emissions from landfills.

Together with our allies – the Clean Air Council, NRDC, and Clean Wisconsin – we argue that suspending the landfill emissions rule was arbitrary and unlawful. There is no reason to harm the health of everyday people so that businesses can further line their pockets and pollute our air. We ask the court to restore this rule immediately.

Today’s court motion coincides with Casella Waste’s announcement that it will shut down Massachusetts’ largest landfill. CLF is keeping up the pressure on unsustainable waste management practices — both here in New England, and in Washington, D.C.

New England Needs Sensible Controls for Landfill Gas Now

Climate change is an urgent threat to New England, and we don’t have time to waste by revoking sensible emissions rules. Landfills release methane and other dangerous air pollutants that can cause serious health effects. In addition to being a potent greenhouse gas, methane contributes to smog, aggravates asthma, and can cause permanent lung damage.

There can be other toxic substances in landfill gas, too — not to mention the unpleasant odor that burdens local communities. Everyone in New England deserves healthy, clean air. And we won’t let Pruitt take that away.

CLF Is Here to Protect the Public Where Trump’s EPA Fails

Administrator Pruitt must be accountable to the public, and cannot roll back key environmental policies without good reason and proper public process. EPA’s excuses for inaction don’t stand up — and we think the courts will agree.

Before you go... CLF is working every day to create real, systemic change for New England’s environment. And we can’t solve these big problems without people like you. Will you be a part of this movement by considering a contribution today? If everyone reading our blog gave just $10, we’d have enough money to fund our legal teams for the next year.