U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Case Status


Oral Argument Date

December 18, 2018


Case Updates

D.C. Circuit issues mixed ruling in challenges to Obama Administration’s 2015 Ozone NAAQS

August 23, 2019

A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit denied the petitions for review filed by the U.S. Chamber, other industry groups, and states against the EPA’s primary and secondary ozone standards. The D.C. Circuit also denied petitions for review filed by environmental groups in almost all respects: the only two exceptions were a remand (without vacatur) for further explanation of why the secondary standard was adequate to protect against visible damage to tree leaves and vacatur of the EPA’s decision to grandfather permit applications into the previous (less stringent standards) if the permit applications were submitted before the new standards went into effect.

Abeyance lifted

July 03, 2018

Click here to view the order.

Case held in abeyance

April 11, 2017

Click here to view the order.

U.S. Chamber and coalition file lawsuit challenging EPA's unprecedented ozone regulations

December 23, 2015

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- joined by other national business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers, American Petroleum Institute, Utility Air Regulatory Group, Portland Cement Association, American Coke and Coal Chemicals Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America, National Oilseed Processors Association, and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers -- filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule lowering the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion (ppb).

“The EPA set an unattainable mandate with this new ozone standard that will slow economic growth opportunities,” said William Kovacs, senior vice president, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “This new standard could halt progress in communities across the country as businesses are forced to slow expansion plans and outside development looks to other regions. The EPA has created a web of regulations that makes it almost impossible for businesses to succeed in this already tough economic climate.”

“Through no fault of their own, many communities have yet to meet EPA's 2008 ozone standard, making it almost impossible for them to realistically meet the new standard unless they make painful decisions that the public will likely not accept,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy. “As our ‘Grinding to a Halt’ series demonstrated, the EPA's new rule ‘moves the goalposts’ on states and communities working to achieve the 2008 rule. Moreover, numerous areas with growing populations and high levels of background ozone simply have no means of complying, and will be unfairly punished by EPA as a result.”

Leading up to this new regulation, the U.S. Chamber actively engaged local communities through forums examining how a lower ozone standard would threaten local jobs and economic growth. Panel discussions included government officials, business leaders and local Chambers of Commerce.

The Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy Grinding to a Halt reports provide an in-depth look at how EPA's tightened ozone standards could halt transportation funding and permitted. The series includes snapshot looks at the impact of the new regulations on Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Southern California.

James R. Bieke, Roger R. Martella, and Joel F. Visser of Sidley Austin LLP served as co-counsel for the amici in this case.

Case Documents