Description: Challenge to New Jersey’s withdrawal from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative on the grounds that it violated the New Jersey Administrative Procedure Act.
In re Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/25/2014 Opinion Download Opinion issued. The New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, agreed with Environment New Jersey and the Natural Resources Defense Council that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) should have followed formal rulemaking procedures to repeal or amend regulations implementing the State’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). After Governor Chris Christie announced in 2011 that the State would withdraw from RGGI’s carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program, NJDEP did not initiate formal repeal procedures for its RGGI regulations but instead posted a notice on its website that power plants would no longer be required to comply with the regulations’ requirements as of January 2012. The appellate court rejected NJDEP’s contention that it was not necessary to repeal the regulations because their only purpose was to implement New Jersey’s participation in RGGI. The court determined that formal rulemaking was required because the regulations “are worded quite broadly and can be read to require action by [NJDEP] absent participation in a regional greenhouse program.” 06/06/2012 Appeal Appeal filed. Two environmental advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in New Jersey state court, alleging that the state’s withdrawal from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative violated state procedural requirements for regulatory actions. In particular, the plaintiffs alleged that the state’s action ignored the public notice-and-comment requirements of the New Jersey Administrative Procedure Act. In May 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that the state would terminate its participation in RGGI at the end of 2011, stating that the program was not effective in cutting emissions of carbon dioxide and had contributed to higher energy prices.