Description: Lawsuit challenging the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s 2018 denial of a petition requesting that the agency initiate rulemaking to address climate change.
Duryea v. Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 08/24/2020 Decision Download Motion to dismiss granted. Rhode Island Court Dismissed Challenge to Agency’s Denial of Climate Change Rulemaking Petition. A Rhode Island Superior Court granted the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s (RIDEM’s) motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking review of RIDEM’s denial of a rulemaking petition seeking adoption of regulations “to address urgent problems posed by climate change to the health of Petitioners.” The court concluded it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s administrative appeal under the Rhode Island Administrative Procedures Act (APA); the court found that it was “abundantly clear” that the plaintiffs had not been aggrieved within the meaning of the applicable APA provision. The court also held that the plaintiffs were not entitled to declaratory relief under the APA and that they did not have standing under the Uniform Declaratory Judgment Act. Regarding standing, the court concluded the plaintiffs—despite their presentation of data and studies indicating the detrimental effect of climate change—“failed to demonstrate a specific, tangible, and concrete injury suffered as a result of [the] rejection of the proposed rules” and that they had not alleged a “personal stake in the controversy,” only “broader claims of the public at large.” 10/28/2019 Order Court directed parties to address jurisdiction issues. Rhode Island Court to Consider Its Jurisdiction to Review State’s Denial of Climate Change Rulemaking Petition. At a hearing on October 28, 2019, a Rhode Island state court held a hearing in a lawsuit challenging the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s (RIDEM’s) denial in 2018 of a petition requesting that RIDEM initiate rulemaking to address climate change. News accounts reported that the court set a schedule for the parties to address the threshold issue of whether the court had jurisdiction to hear the case. 07/19/2019 Request Download Plaintiffs filed request filed to enlarge the official record and motion to compel discovery. 12/11/2018 Answer Download Answer filed. 11/15/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed.