Center for Regulatory Reasonableness v. EPA, No. 14-1150 (D.C. Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
In 2011, EPA issued policy letters that explained and arguably changed two EPA policies with respect to publicly owned water treatment facilities. A group representing interests of municipalities prevailed in the Eighth Circuit on their challenge to the new EPA policy letters. In 2013, EPA made statements indicating that it would not acquiesce in or follow the Eighth Circuit's decision outside of that circuit. Petitioner filed suit raising multiple challenges to EPA's non-acquiescence statement's legality. The court explained that the non-acquiescence letter merely articulates how EPA will interpret the Eighth Circuit's decision. To the extent petitioner seeks to directly challenge EPA's non-acquiescence statement, it must first sue in district court under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 702-704. To the extent petitioner seeks to directly challenge the 2011 policy letters, petitioner was well outside the 120-day window to directly challenge the letters in this court. To the extent petitioner believed EPA was violating the Eighth Circuit's mandate, the proper course of action was to seek mandamus or other appropriate relief in the Eighth Circuit. Accordingly, the court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to directly review EPA's non-acquiescence statement and dismissed the petition.