Last week, the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council filed an amicus brief in support of the removal of the nuisance rule from Ohio’s SIP and in opposition to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) alternative request to remand. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Manufacturers' Association joined on the filing.
The brief is in response to EPA's action last month where the agency asked the court to remand the matter to EPA, without vacatur, so that EPA may consider whether a different procedure than SIP correction would have been “more appropriate,” and to determine whether EPA was allowed to remove the rule from Ohio’s SIP without requiring Ohio to make up for any emissions reductions caused by the nuisance rule.
OCTC has been advocating removal of the nuisance rule from the Ohio SIP since the late 1990s because it does not relate to attainment, implementation, maintenance, or enforcement of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), and it exposes Ohio companies to federal citizen suits over amorphous nuisance claims where plaintiffs’ lawyers can be awarded attorneys’ fees even if they lose. Other states in Region 5 never had a nuisance rule in their SIPs, or had their nuisance rule removed from their SIPs. OCTC will remain vigilant in its opposition to the efforts of the environmental groups to have the nuisance rule reinserted into Ohio’s federally approved plan.