RI Attorney General Announces Intent To Sue EPA For Delayed Enforcement Of Air Quality Rule

Mar 27, 2018

Rhode Island’s attorney general plans to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for delaying enforcement of an air quality regulation aimed at reducing methane emissions from landfills. 

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, along with seven other attorneys general, the California Air Resources Board, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, submitted a notice to federal court saying they plan to sue the EPA if a rule, formally known as the 2016 Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, isn’t enforced within 60 days. 

The EPA intends to complete a reconsideration of the rule by 2020. 

However, it's illegal for the EPA to delay implementation and enforcement of the regulation, according to Amy Kempe, Kilmartin's spokeswoman.   

"Under the Clean Air Act, it (requires) the EPA to properly regulate landfills, and yet they are failing to do so," Kempe said. 

Kempe added landfills are the third largest source of methane emissions in the U.S. By enforcing this regulation, the attorney general’s office said the EPA would help protect the public against asthma, other respiratory diseases and cancer.