Rhode Island’s attorney general is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for delaying enforcement of an air quality regulation aimed at reducing methane emissions from landfills.
In March, 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 intended to sue the EPA if a rule, formally known as the 2016 Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, was not enforced by the end of May.
The EPA is reconsidering the rule and plans to complete their review 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.
This post has been updated.