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Louisiana firm highlights Supreme Court ruling in fresh plea

By Sean Reilly | 07/08/2024 01:34 PM EDT

Denka Performance Elastomer cited last month’s blocking of EPA’s “good neighbor” smog-reduction plan in asking for a reprieve from its timetable for complying with recent air toxics rules.

The Denka Performance Elastomer plant sits at sunset.

The Denka Performance Elastomer plant sits at sunset in Reserve, Louisiana, on Sept. 23, 2022. The plant is located in an industrial corridor known as "Cancer Alley." Gerlad Herbert/AP

A Louisiana chemical company is seizing on a recent Supreme Court decision to again press for a break from a fast-track EPA compliance timetable with recently updated air toxics regulations.

The “stakes here could not be higher,” lawyers for Denka Performance Elastomer wrote in asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to revisit its denial last month of the company’s request to stay the 90-day compliance cutoff.

As grounds, they pointed to the the same week that blocked EPA from further implementation of a “good neighbor” plan aimed at limiting smog-forming pollution from industries in 23 states. In the majority opinion in Ohio v. EPA, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that EPA failed to satisfactorily address concerns about the plan’s viability after other appellate court rulings had already blocked the added obligations in 12 of the 23 states.

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Similarly, the Denka attorneys contend in their Friday petition, “EPA has violated the same principles of administrative law that the Supreme Court emphasized in Ohio, because it utterly failed to provide even a plausible explanation for treating DPE differently than many other similarly situated parties.”

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