Description: Lawsuit challenging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's final rule preempting state regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles.
California v. Chao
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/26/2022 Status Report Download Joint status report filed. 05/24/2022 Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Download Notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice filed by public-interest organization plaintiffs. NGOs Voluntarily Dismissed Challenge to NHTSA Preemption Rule for Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Five months after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) repealed its 2019 rule preempting state regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) voluntarily dismissed their district court complaint challenging the 2019 rule. Two other cases—one brought by states and the other by California air quality management districts—remained pending in the district court for the District of Columbia while the remaining plaintiffs and plaintiff-intervenors coordinated efforts to determine next steps. Challenges to the preemption rule also remain pending in the D.C. Circuit. 04/25/2022 Status Report Download Joint status report filed. 02/02/2021 Motion Download Unopposed motion to withdraw as intervenors filed by Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation and Automotive Regulatory Council, Inc. 02/11/2020 Order Download Motion hearing scheduled for April 16, 2020 vacated. 02/11/2020 Order Download Case stayed pending resolution of related litigation in the D.C. Circuit (No. 19-1230). Challenge to EPA and NHTSA’s “One National Program” for Vehicle Emission Standards to Proceed Initially in D.C. Circuit. The federal district court for the District of Columbia stayed the cases challenging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulation preempting state regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. The NHTSA regulation was one component of the final rule promulgated by NHTSA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entitled “The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule Part One: One National Program.” The other two components were EPA’s withdrawal of the waiver for California’s greenhouse gas and zero-emission vehicle programs and EPA’s determination that other states could not adopt California’s greenhouse gas standards pursuant to Section 177 of the Clean Air Act. The plaintiffs—states, California air quality management districts, and non-governmental organizations—challenged NHTSA’s preemption rule in district court while also filing protective petitions for review in the D.C. Circuit. The district court issued its order staying their cases after the D.C. Circuit denied the petitioners’ motions to stay the D.C. Circuit proceedings pending the outcome of the district court litigation (and administrative requests for reconsideration). The cases are staying pending resolution of the D.C. Circuit litigation. 02/07/2020 Response Download Response filed by defendants to plaintiffs' notice of developments in related litigation. 02/06/2020 Notice Download Notice of developments in related litigation filed by plaintiffs. 01/15/2020 Order Download Motion hearing scheduled for April 16, 2020. The district court scheduled a hearing for April 16, 2020 to consider the defendants’ motion to dismiss or transfer. 12/19/2019 Order Download Court granted motions by National Coalition for Advanced Transportation and Calpine Corporation et al. to intervene in support of plaintiffs. 12/18/2019 Order Download Order issued consolidating cases. 12/06/2019 Order Download Order issued regarding potential consolidation of cases. 12/06/2019 Order Download Court granted Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation and Association of Global Automakers motion to intervene in support of defendants. 12/04/2019 Motion to Intervene Download Motion filed by Calpine Corporation, Consolidated Edison, Inc., National Grid USA, New York Power Authority, and Power Companies Climate Coalition to intervene as plaintiffs. 12/03/2019 Motion to Dismiss Download Motion to dismiss or transfer filed by defendants. On December 3, 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the other defendants filed their motion to dismiss the district court cases challenging the preemption regulation. NHTSA argued that the Court of Appeals had exclusive jurisdiction to review the regulations, including National Environmental Policy Act claims related to the preemption regulations. NHTSA also argued that the D.C. Circuit should resolve any question as to whether the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acted outside its statutory authority in issuing the regulations. NHTSA said the district court should either dismiss the cases for lack of jurisdiction or transfer them to the D.C. Circuit. 12/03/2019 Not Available Download Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation and Association of Global Automakers, Inc. filed [proposed] joinder in defendants' motion to dismiss or transfer. 12/03/2019 Opposition Download Memorandum of points and authorities filed in support of state plaintiffs' opposition to motion to dismiss. 12/03/2019 Reply Download Reply brief filed in support of defendants' motion to dismiss or transfer. 11/15/2019 Motion to Intervene Download Motion for leave to intervene as plaintiff filed by National Coalition for Advanced Transportation. 10/15/2019 Motion Download Motion to dismiss or transfer filed by defendants. 10/15/2019 Notice of Intent Download Notice of intent to file motion to dismiss filed by defendants. 10/08/2019 Motion Download Unopposed motion for leave to amend and supplement complaint filed by state plaintiffs. 09/20/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. States and Cities Challenged Rule Preempting State Regulation of Vehicle Carbon Dioxide Emissions. On September 19, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Acting Administrator James Owens signed a final rule in which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew the waiver that allowed California to promulgate greenhouse gas standards for vehicles and establish a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate. The rule also finalized text in NHTSA regulations explicitly preempting state regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. EPA and NHTSA described these actions as “legal matters that are independent of the technical details” of proposed federal greenhouse gas and Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for light-duty vehicles that EPA and NHTSA have not yet finalized. EPA and NHTSA said the final waiver and preemption actions were necessary to ensure “the existence of one Federal program for light vehicles.” On September 20, California, 23 other states, the District of Columbia, New York City, and Los Angeles filed a lawsuit in federal district court in the District of Columbia against the Secretary of Transportation, Owens, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and NHTSA. The states asserted that the preemption regulation exceeded NHTSA’s authority, that the regulation contravened the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 and the Clean Air Act, and that NHTSA failed to consider the regulation’s environmental impacts as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. On September 27, nine nonprofit organizations filed a similar lawsuit challenging the NHTSA regulation.
South Coast Air Quality Management District v. Chao
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 11/14/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Three California air quality management districts filed a complaint in federal district court in D.C. seeking a declaration that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration preemption rule is invalid. They also filed a related petition for review in the D.C. Circuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's withdrawal of California's waiver. The district court case was not officially consolidated with similar cases brought by California and other states and by environmental groups, but parties have been filing the same documents in each docket, and the documents can be found on the California case's page.
Environmental Defense Fund v. Chao