Ceramic Industry

Appeals Court Vacates EPA's MACT Standards (3/23/07)

March 26, 2007

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently returned a decision against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) standards on maximum achievable control technology (MACT) for hazardous air pollutants generated by brick, structural clay and clay ceramic kilns.

Finding in favor of the Sierra Club, which brought the petition, the Court's decision states that "most of the standards violate the Clean Air Act as interpreted by this Court in Cement Kiln Recycling Coalition v. EPA, 255 F.3d 855 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (per curiam), and National Lime Ass'n v. EPA, 233 F.3d 625 (D.C. Cir. 2000), and because the remaining standards violate the Act's requirements for 'work practice standards, 'we vacate the standards in their entirety and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

The decision concludes that "If the Environmental Protection Agency disagrees with the Clean Air Act's requirements for setting emissions standards, it should take its concerns to Congress. If EPA disagrees with this Court's interpretation of the Clean Air Act, it should week rehearing en banc or file a petition for a writ of certiorari. In the meantime, it must obey the Clean Air Act as written by Congress and interpreted by this court."