Briefing Schedule Set for Coal Ash Litigation
On October 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit set the briefing schedule for a challenge by industry and environmental groups against EPA's final coal ash rule. Both industry and environmental groups are suing the agency over the final rule, industry on the grounds that it imposes burdensome requirements, and environmentalists on the grounds that it does not adequately protect people and the environment from the harms of coal ash. Environmental petitioners will ask the court to leave the rule in place while EPA fixes key problems on remand, according to the motion, whereas industry petitioners will seek to have the rule or portions of it vacated.
Published April 17, the rule establishes a number of requirements for landfills and impoundments currently receiving the waste, including location restrictions, inspections, groundwater monitoring and fugitive dust controls. It does not, however, contain any federal EPA enforcement mechanism. The coal ash rule took effect October 19.
The briefing schedule filed October 19 is:
• environmental petitioner's brief due December 18, 2015;
• industry petitioners' brief due December 18, 2015;
• respondent's brief due March 17, 2106;
• environmental intervenor-respondents' brief due April 18, 2016;
• industry intervenor-respondents' brief due April 18, 2016;
• environmental petitioners' reply brief due May 16, 2016;
• industry petitioners' reply brief due May 16, 2016;
• deferred joint appendix due June 6, 2016; and
• final briefs due July 6, 2016.
Oral arguments have not yet been set.