The Justice Department has asked the courts to hold EPA two court cases, including the case related to the Clean Power Plan, in abeyance. The request is a result of Trump’s recent Executive Order seeking to weaken or undermine EPA rules and regulations. The DOJ is asking for an abeyance until 30 days after the EPA determines whether to change or revoke the rules.
However, NRDC, one of many intervenors in the cases, will file motions in the courts next week asking them to deny the DOJ request.
If the DOJ request is denied, but it chooses not to defend the cases, then the NRDC and other intervenor groups will take up the defense of the EPA rules.
In court cases parties, who feel their rights may be infringed by the outcome of a case, and who do not feel their interests would be adequately represented by either party, can petition the courts to intervene. What this means for the EPA cases is that if the DOJ chooses to sit on their hands, other groups will take up the legal fight for the EPA rules.
Both cases have an enormous number of intervenors on both sides. In the NSPS case, those intervening on behalf of the EPA are:
- The states of California, Oregon, Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, Washington, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- The city of Chicago
- The Sierra Club
- The Clean Air Council
- The Environmental Integrity Project
- The Environmental Defense Fund
There are so many ntervenors on behalf of the CPP rule that I don’t want to type them out individually. Thankfully one of the intervenors, the Environmental Defense Fund, provides a PDF listing them all. EDF is also very good about providing access to court documents for the cases it’s involved in (CPP court documents page).