ATTORNEY GENERAL T.J. DONOVAN
TOTAL ACTIONS: 64

Updated December 14, 2018

NOVEMBER 2018

November 19, 2018
Filed an Amicus Brief Opposing the Trump Administration’s Plan to Strip Protections from National Monuments
A multi-state coalition of 11 state attorneys general led by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in opposition to the Trump administration’s plan to revoke national monument protections for large portions of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah. The amicus brief supports ongoing litigation brought by national environmental groups and Native American tribes against the Trump administration’s actions.

The AGs noted that Executive Order 13792, which opened up the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments to mining, oil and gas extraction violates the Antiquities Act, which does not authorize Presidents to undue National Monument protections extended by previous administrations. In their brief, the AGs note that Executive Order 13792 also authorizes an open-ended review of protections for other national monument across the country by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke – a review that is also unlawful under the Antiquities Act.
Release | Amicus Brief | 11 AGs: Washington; California; Hawaii; Maine; Maryland; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Massachusetts ]


OCTOBER 2018

October 31, 2018
Opposed EPA’s ‘Legally Flawed’ Rollback of the Clean Power Plan
A coalition of 19 AGs submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency demanding that the Trump administration withdraw the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule, the administration’s proposed replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The AGs’ comment letter includes the most comprehensive analysis published to date on the severe technical errors and extraordinary legal flaws included within the proposed rule. The AGs noted in their comments that the EPA’s proposed rule will lead to as many as 1,630 premature deaths, 120,000 asthma attacks, 140,000 missed school days, and 48,000 lost work days in 2030 compared to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The proposed rule will also lead to 15,000 additional cases of upper respiratory problems, as well as a rise in rates of heart and lung disease.
Release | Comments | 19 AGs: New York; California; Connecticut; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Mexico; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


October 26, 2018
Submitted comments opposing rollback of Clean Car Standards
A coalition of 21 AGs submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opposing the agencies’ proposed “SAFE” (“Safer, Affordable, Fuel Efficient”) Vehicles rule. If finalized, the “SAFE” Vehicles rule would freeze national Clean Car Standards for passenger vehicles and light trucks. The current Clean Car Standards are expected to prevent up to 2,000 premature deaths, 50,000 cases of respiratory ailments and reduce asthma symptoms for 24 million Americans, including 6.3 million children.
Release | Comments | 21 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawaii; Iowa; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


October 12, 2018
Filed an Amicus Brief in Support of MA and NY Exxon Mobil Investigations
A coalition of 20 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit calling for the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Exxon Mobil Corp. that seeks to halt the climate change-related investigations brought by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on First Amendment grounds. On the same day, a coalition of four former Massachusetts attorneys general filed an amicus brief supporting AG Healey’s right to complete her ongoing investigation based on the office's longstanding authority and responsibility to investigate potential cases of misrepresentation or fraud.
Multi-State Amicus Brief | Former AG Amicus Brief20 AGs: Delaware; Oregon; California; Connecticut; Hawaii; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Minnesota; Mississippi; New Jersey; New Mexico; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


SEPTEMBER 2018

September 24, 2018
Submitted Comments Rejecting Interior and Commerce Department Proposals to Erode ESA Protections
A coalition of 10 AGs submitted comments to the Interior and Commerce Departments rejecting the Trump Administration’s plan to curtail species protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). On July 25, the Administration put forward a series of proposed rules that would overhaul decades of ESA regulatory precedent and limit protections for species threatened by climate change. In addition to their anti-climate provisions, the Administration’s proposed rules would inject economic analysis into listing decisions for species.

The AGs noted that the proposed rules are “unauthorized by law” under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) because they depart from the text of the statute.  On this point, the AGs called attention to a provision in Section 4 of the ESA which unambiguously prohibits the use of economic analysis in listing decisions. Additionally, the AGs noted that the Administration had failed to meet its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) based on its lack of analysis into the “devastating environmental effects” of the proposed rules. Failure to comply with NEPA also are grounds to vacate the proposed rules under the APA, the AGs noted.
[Release | Comments | 10 AGs: Massachusetts; California; Maryland; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; and the District of Columbia]


September 10, 2018
Submitted Petition for Review for the EPA’s Mercury Inventory Rule
Vermont Attorney General T. J. Donovan submitted a petition for review to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for the EPA’s “Mercury; Reporting Requirements for the TSCA Mercury Inventory” rule. The EPA is required to develop mercury reporting regulations under the Toxic Controlled Substances Act (TSCA), which directs the Agency to create a comprehensive inventory of mercury “supply, use and trade” in the United States. The EPA’s final rule exempts companies from reporting industrial mercury use if those companies are already reporting under TSCA’s Chemical Data Reporting requirements, which critics argue violates Congress’s clear intent under the law, and will lead to an incomplete and outdated inventory of mercury. 
[ Petition | 1 AG: Vermont ]


September 13, 2018
Sent a Letter to Congress Urging Full Funding for the EPA, Removing Anti-Environmental Riders
A coalition of 13 attorneys general transmitted a letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders of both houses of Congress urging an agreement on a federal budget for fiscal year 2019 that preserves the Environmental Protection Agency’s funding levels relative to its FY 2018 budget. The AGs also argued against including any anti-environmental riders in the budget agreement that would “prohibit, de-fund or otherwise amend key health and environmental protection policies of the Agency.”
[Letter | 13 AGs: New York; California; Delaware; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; and the District of Columbia]


AUGUST 2018

August 27, 2018
Sent a letter to EPA, DOT Requesting an Extension of the Public Comment Period for New CAFE Standards
Following the announcement of their intent to file suit against EPA and DOT over fuel efficiency standards, a coalition of 18 AGs sent a letter to EPA Acting-Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Heidi King requesting an extension of the public comment period for the Trump Administration’s new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards. The AGs noted past precedent and argued that the significance and complexity of the Administration’s proposal necessitates a 120-day comment period. The AGs also argued that more public hearings are warranted, and formally requested that at least one public hearing be held in California given the Administration’s plan to revoke California’s Clean Air Act waiver.
[Letter | 18 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Iowa; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; District of Columbia]


August 23, 2018
Submitted comments opposing EPA’s Proposal to Gut Chemical Safety Risk Management Rule
A coalition of 12 AGs submitted comments to the EPA arguing against the Agency’s proposal to roll back significant components of the Chemical Accident Safety Rule. The targeted provisions include a requirement that companies share information about the dangerous chemicals they produce and to take accident prevention measures. The attorneys general called on EPA to abandon the rollback because the proposal threatens the safety of workers, first responders and surrounding communities and is unlawful under the Clean Air Act.

The AGs’ comments came less than a week after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a coalition of state attorneys general that had previously sued the EPA over the Agency’s decision to delay implementation of the Risk Management Rule for 19 months.
[Release| Comments | 12 AGs: New York; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New Mexico; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington]


August 20, 2018
Submitted Comments to CEQ Demanding that the White House Drop its NEPA Overhaul
A coalition of 9 AGs submitted comments to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) urging “restraint” as the Trump Administration considers a proposal that could open the door for an overhaul of decades of regulatory precedent related to the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The AGs argued that CEQ failed to produce data to support the need for major changes to current NEPA regulations, and expressed concern that NEPA revisions may limit the public’s ability to participate in future environmental reviews and threaten the health of states’ residents and the integrity of local ecosystems.
[Release | Comments | 9 AGs: California; New York; Washington; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; Vermont; Washington]



August 13, 2018
Submitted Comments Opposing EPA’s Plan to Change how it Evaluates the Costs and Benefits of New Regulations
A coalition of 13 AGs submitted comments to the EPA asking the Agency to drop a proposed rule to change how it determines the costs and benefits associated with new regulations. The AGs argued that EPA’s proposed rule would allow it to prioritize the cost of compliance for regulated industries over public health concerns. The AGs raised concerns that the EPA is attempting to curtail its ability to calculate the economic benefits associated with limiting pollution and human exposure to harmful substances, while also enabling the agency to place greater weight on the costs of regulatory compliance.

The AGs also noted that the EPA has failed to provide evidence establishing the necessity of a comprehensive review of its methodology for calculating the costs and benefits of regulatory compliance, noting that EPA’s proposed rule seems to pave the way for the consideration of factors that Congress did not intend for it to consider. The AGs explained that this would lead to the promulgation of rules that are “arbitrary and capricious” according to the American Procedure Act.
[Release | Comments | 12 AGs: New York; California; Illinois; Iowa; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; Oregon; Vermont; Washington; District of Columbia]


August 3,2018
Submitted Comments to EPA on Risk Evaluations for Toxic Substances
A coalition of 11 Attorneys General submitted comments to the EPA strongly critical of the Agency’s proposed framework for the evaluation of the risk posed by toxic chemicals like asbestos to public health and the environment. The AGs argue in their comments that the EPA’s new proposal is counter to the intended purpose of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which was signed into law just two years ago on June 22, 2016. The Lautenberg Act was passed as an amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The AGs contend that Congress amended TSCA in a clear attempt to remove obstacles that had prevented the EPA from playing “a more robust role in protecting public health and the environment,” and that the Agency’s attempt to ignore known uses of toxic chemicals represents an “unlawfully restrictive application of TSCA.” The AGs argue that this can only result in “deeply flawed risk evaluations” that “make it impossible for EPA to fulfill its statutory mandate.” 
[Comments | 11 AGs: Massachusetts, California, Hawai’i, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia]


August 2, 2018
Announced intention to file suit against the EPA, DOT over Car Emissions Standards
A coalition of 20 Attorneys General announced that they were prepared to fight the Trump Administration’s proposal to revoke California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act, which allows the State to set its own emissions standard for greenhouse gas emissions. The AGs announced that they are also prepared for a legal battle over the Administration’s proposal to weaken emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks for model years 2021 through 2026.

12 States and the District of Columbia have adopted the emissions standards set by California, which is the only State that is able to set its own standard under federal law. AGs from all 12 States and the District of Columbia joined the coalition.
[Statement | 20 AGs: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia]


JULY 2018

July 26, 2018
Filed Amicus Brief Challenging Appellate Court Ruling on HFC Prohibition
A coalition of 18 Attorneys General filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn a divided U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Mexichem Flour vs. EPA (2017). Relying on a strained reading of the Clean Air Act, a divided lower court ruled that EPA does not have the authority to phase out the use of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) in air conditioning and refrigerants, even though HFCs are potent greenhouse gases (“air pollutants” under the Clean Air Act) that contribute significantly to climate change.

In their brief, the AGs advanced a compelling argument that the lower court erred in its reading of Section 612 of the Clean Air Act. They joined with environmental and industry petitioners in requesting Supreme Court review.
[Amicus Brief | 18 AGs: Massachusetts; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai’i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Minnesota; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; and the District of Columbia]


July 19, 2018
Filed Suit Against EPA Over Glider Truck Rule
*Update: On July 26, 2018 EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler withdrew the rule at the heart of this suit, representing a major win for the Attorneys General in this case (See memo: “Conditional No Action Assurance Regarding Small Manufacturers of Glider Vehicles”). 

A coalition of 16 Attorneys General filed a lawsuit against the EPA for the Agency’s suspension of its 2016 Glider Truck Rule. In its press release announcing the suite, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that EPA’s decision is dangerous to human health and the environment. “The EPA itself has estimated that adding 10,000 gliders with non-compliant engines onto our roads in a single year could result in up to 1,600 premature deaths, 415,000 tons of additional nitrogen oxide emissions, and 6,800 tons of additional particulate matter emissions over the lifetime of those trucks. We look forward to making our case in court and to holding the EPA accountable for its blatant violation of our laws.”

[Release | Petition for Review | 16 AGs: California; Delaware; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Minnesota; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; and the District of Columbia


July 13, 2018
Submitted a Letter Demanding Immediate Withdrawal of EPAs Glider Truck Rule
A coalition of 13 Attorneys General submitted a letter critical of EPA’s new guidance on its “Glider Rule” limiting the number of new, extremely high polluting trucks allowed per year. The AGs’ letter demands that Acting Administrator, Andrew Wheeler revoke EPA’s “de facto suspension” of the Glider Rule, a decision the AGs write is “clearly unlawful.”

The coalition argued that EPA’s decision would have a dramatic and detrimental impact on the environment and public health based on the Agency’s own data. The States also announced that “absent quick action on your part to withdraw or stay EPA’s de facto suspension, the States are prepared to take action in court.”
[Letter | 13 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Vermont; and Washington]


JUNE 2018

June 26, 2018
Petitioned for Review of EPA’s HFC Rule
A coalition of 11 Attorneys General filed a petition requesting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the EPA’s industry guidance on hydroflourocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas. The AGs are challenging EPA’s action entitled “Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Notification of Guidance and a Stakeholder Meeting Concerning the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program,” seeking a determination by the court pursuant to section 307(d)(9) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7607(d)(9).

The petition calls EPA’s guidance “unlawful,” and demonstrates the commitment of States to protect the landmark environmental protections established by the Clean Air Act.
[Petition | 11 AGs: New York; California; Delaware; Illinois; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Jersey; Oregon; Vermont; Washington; and the District of Columbia.]

MAY 2018

May 31, 2018
Sued EPA Over Failure to Implement Landfill Methane Regulation
A coalition of eight Attorneys General filed a lawsuit against the EPA over its failure to implement and enforce a critical landfill methane regulation. The regulation would reduce landfill emissions of volatile organic compounds, hazardous air pollutants, carbon dioxide, and methane. It went into effect on October 28, 2016, but the EPA has not implemented or enforced it.
[ Complaint | 8 AGs: California; Illinois; Maryland; New Mexico; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont ]


 

May 21, 2018
Submitted Comments on CWA and Groundwater
A coalition of five states submitted comments in opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) apparent interest in rolling back its longstanding position that the Clean Water Act (CWA) regulates the discharge of pollutants that move from point sources into surface waters via a short and direct groundwater or other intermediary conduit. EPA's long-held position follows the direction of the CWA and the courts, and provides states with essential protections from unpermitted, upstream discharges of harmful pollutants.
[ Release | Comments | 5 AGs: California; Maryland; Massachusetts; Oregon; Vermont ]


May 9, 2018
Submitted Comments to FERC on Grid Resilience
The attorneys general of Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island submitted comments to FERC on the resiliency of the power system in New England. The AGs urged FERC to not make recommendations nor draw conclusions related to the resiliency of the New England energy market based solely on ISO-NE's analysis of the market because its study relied on faulty assumptions and analysis. The comments by the AGs also reiterated their objection to requiring ratepayers to subsidize uneconomic energy sources based on exaggerated resiliency concerns.
[ Comments | 3 AGs: Massachusetts; Rhode Island; Vermont ]


May 2, 2018
Filed Comments Challenging Proposed Rollbacks of Penalties for Fuel Economy Violations
Thirteen attorneys general submitted comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over a proposal to cut by over 60 percent the penalty to automakers for violating national fuel economy standards. The AGs argued that NHTSA has no authority to reduce the penalty, and that the rollback is "arbitrary and capricious," and will undermine national fuel economy standards by slashing the penalties that incentivize automakers to comply with them.
[ Comments |13 AGs: California; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; Oregon; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; and Washington, D.C.]


May 1, 2018
Sued EPA for Proposal to Roll Back Vehicle Emissions Standards
18 attorneys general filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for beginning the process of rolling back critical vehicle emissions standards that help to ensure clean air. The lawsuit seeks to set aside and hold unlawful EPA's effort to weaken national clean car standards by tossing out greenhouse gas emissions standards for model year 2022-2025 vehicles.
[Release | Lawsuit | 18 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Jersey; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; and Washington, D.C.]

APRIL 2018

April 26, 2018
Filed Comments to Defend the Clean Power Plan
Nineteen attorneys general filed comments with the EPA to defend the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and oppose the "unlawful and unsupported" repeal proposed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "EPA's proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan is contrary to the Clean Air Act and arbitrary and capricious. To propose to repeal the Plan-without having first put in place a replacement rule that requires equivalent or greater pollution reductions-is nothing less than an abdication of EPA's duty to protect public health and welfare from what it has recognized to be the nation's most urgent environmental threat," wrote the attorneys general.
[ReleaseComments | 19 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; North Carolina; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; and Washington, D.C.]


April 5, 2018
Sued EPA For Failing to Control Methane Pollution
New York Attorney General Eric  Schneiderman and 14 other attorneys general "filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for ignoring its legal duty to control emissions of methane – an extremely potent greenhouse gas – from existing oil and gas operations. Specifically, the suit charges that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has violated the federal Clean Air Act by 'unreasonably delaying' its mandatory obligation under the Act to control methane emissions from these operations."
[Release | Complaint | 15 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


MARCH 2018

March 23, 2018
Threatened to Sue EPA for Unlawful Delay of Landfille Emissions Rule
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of seven attorneys general in threatening to sue the EPA in 60 days if it continues to refuse to enforce a critical rule that protects public health and the environment. The Landfill Emissions Rule aims to reduce emissions of methane and other compounds that pose threats to air quality, creating a public health risk. The rule regulates emissions of methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas, from the third largest source of methane emissions in the country, landfills.
Release Notice of Intent to Sue | 7 AGs: California; Illinois; Maryland; New Mexico; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont]  


March 9, 2018
Urged Congress to Fund EPA, Strip Anti-Environment Riders from Budget
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman led a coalition of 14 attorneys general in sending a letter to congressional leaders urging them "to ensure that funding for the Environmental Protection Agency  is maintained at least at its FY 2017 levels, that EPA’s vital core and specific programs receive necessary continued funding, and that all anti-environmental riders that would prohibit, de-fund or otherwise amend key health and environmental protection policies of the Agency are omitted from the spending measure." 
[Comments 14 AGs: California; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington, D.C.]


FEBRUARY 2018

February 27, 2018
Responded To EPA's “Advance Notice” Of Rule To Possibly Replace Clean Power Plan
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman led 18 attorneys general in filing comments opposing the "Environmental Protection Agency’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ('Advance Notice') on a 'potential' replacement to the Clean Power Plan."
[Release | Comments | 18 AGs: California; Connecticut; Hawaii; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


February 6, 2018
Sued EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to Block "Unlawful" Delay of Clean Water Rule
In U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, New York Attorney Genera Eric Schneiderman led a group of 11 attorneys general in suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for suspending for two years the Clean Water Rule. The attorneys general argue the EPA ignored scientific evidence and a multi-year comment process and changed the definition of "waters of the United States." 
[Release Complaint 11 AGs: California; Connecticut; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; and Washington, D.C.]


JANUARY 2018

January 31, 2018
Filed Amicus Brief to Restore Air Pollution Funds to Federal Harley-Davidson Settlement 
In U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, a coalition of 11 attorneys general "filed an amicus brief opposing the elimination of $3 million in funding for clean air projects from a proposed settlement between the federal government and Harley-Davidson. The proposed settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Harley-Davidson stems from a complaint filed by the DOJ on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) arguing that Harley-Davidson manufactured and sold 'tuners' that once installed, caused motorcycles to emit excess amounts of certain harmful air pollutants, including hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides."
[ReleaseAmicus brief | 11 AGs: Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


January 9, 2018
Called on Scott Pruitt to be Recused from Clean Power Plan Repeal Process
EPA's "failure to disqualify" Administrator Scott Pruitt from the Clean Power Plan repeal process has "irreparably tainted" the rulemaking because he "prejudged" the outcome prior to and during his tenure leading the Agency, resulting in a "lack of due process and fairness," argued California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with 12 other attorneys general and six municipalities, in comments filed today. Therefore, EPA "must withdraw the proposed repeal," or "any resulting rule will be invalid."
[Release Comments | 13 AGs: California; Delaware; Hawaii; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Vermont; and Washington; and Washington, D.C.]


January 5, 2018
Sought to Slam Brakes on EPA Rollback of Truck Rule 
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra  led 12 attorneys general in opposing the EPA's attempt to repeal a key rule that limits the amount of emissions permitted from trucks known as "gliders." These trucks have a new body but a refurbished engine. The 2016 Glider Rule holds these trucks to the same emissions standards new trucks must meet. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he would seek to repeal the Glider Rule, reportedly after meeting “with the manufacturer that stands to benefit most from the rule’s repeal."
[Release Comments 12 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Vermont; and Washington]


DECEMBER 2017

December 26, 2017
Sued EPA for Failing to Protect Residents from Out-of-State Pollution 
Eight attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, sued EPA "to force action under the Clean Air Act to ensure upwind states adequately control the pollution that blows into New York and other downwind states...Specifically, the suit challenges the EPA’s denial of a petition that New York and several other states filed in late 2013 for the Agency to add nine additional states to the 'Ozone Transport Region,' a group of states established under the federal Clean Air Act that must act in concert to reduce smog pollution within the region."
[Release | Complaint | 8 AGs: Connecticut; Delaware; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont]


December 20, 2017
Wrote Letter to Congress Opposing Steep EPA Budget Cuts, Anti-Environment Riders 
Twelve attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, sent a letter to congressional leaders opposing steep cuts in the EPA's Fiscal Year 2018 budget. The House-passed budget bill cuts EPA's funding by $650 million, while the Senate-passed legislation calls for a $150 million decrease. Both would give the Agency its smallest operating budget in more than 30 years.
[Release Letter to Congress 12 AGs: California; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington, D.C.]


December 12, 2017
Opposed Dept. of Justice's Harley Davidson Consent Decree Lacking Mitigation
Attorneys general say the proposed Consent Decree does not satisfy the applicable standard for entry of a consent decrees and does not serve the public interest.
[Notice of Intent to File Amicus Brief | 9 AGs: Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington]


December 5, 2017
Sued EPA For Flouting Clean Air Requirements 
In District Court, Northern District of California, attorneys general sued EPA "for failing to meet the Clean Air Act’s statutory deadline for designating areas of the country impacted by unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone (commonly referred to as smog)...With this suit, the coalition makes good on its pledge to sue the EPA if it failed to meet this key statutory and public health requirement." 
[Release Complaint | 15 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


NOVEMBER 2017

November 6, 2017
Call On Trump Administration To Enforce Important Nationwide Greenhouse Gas Measure 
Attorneys general "called on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to keep in place and enforce the Greenhouse Gas Performance Measure. The Measure went into effect on September 28, 2017. It requires all states to track on-road greenhouse gas emissions, to set locally-appropriate performance targets, and to ensure consistency in data collection. In their letter to the FHWA, the attorneys general underscore that eliminating the Measure would be arbitrary and capricious."
[Release Letter to Transportation Secretary Chao| 6 AGs: California; Maryland; Massachusetts; Oregon; Vermont; Washington]


OCTOBER 2017

October 23, 2017
AGs Oppose Bailout Plan For Coal-Burning Power Plants
Attorneys general submitted comments opposing the Department of Energy's proposal to subsidize nuclear and coal power plants.
[Release | Comments to FERC (NY only); Comments to FERC |11 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; North Carolina; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington]


October 5, 2017
Pledged Lawsuit Against EPA For Ignoring Key Clean Air Deadline 
Attorneys general filed a notice of intent to sue the EPA "for failing to meet the Clean Air Act’s statutory deadline for designating areas of the country impacted by unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone (known as smog)...The designation of areas with unhealthy smog levels plays a key role under the Clean Air Act in addressing the pollutant’s severe harms to public health, triggering requirements for state-specific plans and deadlines to reduce pollution in the designated areas."
[Release |Notice of Intent to Sue | 14 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


SEPTEMBER 2017

September 28, 2017
Filed Amicus Brief Seeking Rehearing of Court Decision that Overturned EPA Phase-Out of Hydrofluorocarbons
In D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, attorneys general "filed an amicus brief in support of the efforts by the Natural Resources Defense Council and private businesses Honeywell International and Chemour to have the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rehear a case with national and international ramifications involving the EPA's ability to address climate change."
[Release | Amicus brief |10 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Illinois; Maryland; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvnia; Vermont; Washington]


September 28, 2017
Challenged Proposed EPA Replacement Rule for Final Waters of the United States Rule 
Attorneys general "challenged the legality of a Trump Administration proposal to void the 'Clean Water Rule' that defines 'waters of the United States' under federal law. In comments addressed to the EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), the coalition charges that the proposed repeal of the Clean Water Rule – a rule designed to ensure the nation’s lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands receive proper protection under the federal Clean Water Act – is 'arbitrary and capricious and not in accordance with law.' The coalition also charges that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s involvement in the effort, after suing to negate the Clean Water Rule as Oklahoma Attorney General, is 'illegal' and would render any repeal invalid."
[Release | Comments to EPA | 9 AGs: California; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


September 20, 2017
Sued Administration for Illegal Delay of Vehicle Emissions Rule
In District Court, Northern District of California, attorneys general sued the Federal Highway Administration and the Department of Transportation "for their illegal delay of a regulation that would lead to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles on federal highways across the country. The delayed regulation, known as the Greenhouse Gas Performance Measure, requires all states to measure and track greenhouse gas emissions and set locally-appropriate targets."

[Release | Complaint |8 AGs: California; Iowa; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Oregon; Vermont; Washington]
*STATUS: Pending


September 11, 2017
Filed Lawsuit To Protect Fuel Efficiency Standards Rule
In the 2nd Court of Appeals in New York City, attorneys general sued the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "for illegally delaying a rule that encourages automakers to produce vehicle fleets that meet or exceed federal fuel efficiency standards.Set to take effect in July 2017, the rule would increase the penalty imposed on automakers whose vehicle fleets do not meet minimum fuel efficiency standards. All federal agencies were required to increase their civil penalty rates by an act of Congress, the 2015 Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. In response, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a new rule to increase the penalty by $8.50 per tenth of a mile per gallon. The Trump Administration has delayed it, reverting back to the lower penalty rate instead. If the penalty is not sufficiently high, automakers lack a vital incentive to manufacture fuel efficient vehicles."
[Release Petition for Review | 5 AGs: California; Maryland; New York; Pennsylvania; Vermont]


AUGUST 2017

August 25, 2017
Filed Comments Requesting DOJ Restore Mitigation in Harley-Davidson Settlement
A coalition of 12 attorneys general filed comments with the U.S. Department of Justice "to object to the proposed decree as amended...to forego a $3 million emissiosn mitigation project included in the original decree...the States request that DOJ and EPA restore the original mitigation project or, alternatively, require Harley-Davidson to mitigate its excess emissions in a manner consistent with the public interest." 
[Comments to DOJ | 12 AGs: Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


August 9, 2017
Opposed EPA’s Illegal Proposed Delay of Rule Limiting Methane Emissions 
Attorneys general "submitted comments in opposition to EPA's proposed 27-month compliance delay of an important public health rule put forward during the Obama Administration. The methane new source rule now in place limits emissions of this powerful greenhouse gas by encouraging the use of emerging technology in leak monitoring and setting a fixed schedule for monitoring leaks at all well sites and compressor stations."
[Release | Comments to EPA |13 AGs: California; Illinios; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington, D.C.]


August 1, 2017
Filed Lawsuit Against EPA For Stalling Action On Clean Air 
In D.C. Court of Appeals, attorneys general sued EPA for "illegally stalling the designation of areas impacted by unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone (known as smog) – vital to protecting New Yorkers and other Americans from dangerous pollution."
[Release |Petition for Review |16 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


JULY 2017

July 25, 2017
Sued EPA for Illegally Delaying Rule that Protect Communities & First Responders from Chemical Accidents 
In D.C. Court of Appeals, attorneys general sued EPA "for illegally delaying a vital rule meant to protect communities, workers, and first responders from dangerous chemical accidents. The rule – the Accidental Release Prevention Requirements or the 'Chemical Accident Safety Rule'– makes critical improvements to Congressionally-mandated protections against explosions, fires, poisonous gas releases, and other accidents at more than 12,000 facilities across the country—including over 200 in New York—that store and use toxic chemicals. "
[Release |Petition for Review | 11 AGs: Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington]


July 6, 2017
Challenged EPA's Approval of Toxic Pesticide Chlorpyrifos in Foods 
In the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, attorneys general "moved to intervene in a lawsuit against the EPA...after filing legal objections with the EPA last month. In March 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt took action that allowed the continued use of chlorpyrifos on food crops even while the agency failed to identify a safe level for the pesticide. Chlorpyrifos is widely used, including on fruits and vegetables consumed by infants, young children, and pregnant women, and is shown to negatively impact proper development and functioning of the central nervous system and brain."
[Release | Motion to Intervene | 6 AGS: Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


JUNE 2017

June 29, 2017
Vowed Lawsuit If EPA Continues Ignoring Legal Duty To Control Methane Pollution 
Attorneys general "put the Trump Administration on notice today that they plan to sue if the Administration continues to ignore its legal duty to control emissions of methane – an extremely potent greenhouse gas – from existing oil and gas operations. In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the coalition provides the required notice of their intention to sue the Agency for failing to fulfill its mandatory obligation under the Clean Air Act to control methane emissions from existing oil and natural gas sources and for 'unreasonably delaying' the issuance of such controls."      
[Release | Intent to Sue Letter | 15 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


June 26, 2017
Opposed Regulatory Rollbacks That Would Jeopardize Americans' Health & Safety 
Attorneys general "urged U.S. Senate leaders to oppose legislation that would halt the federal regulatory process and obstruct the implementation of laws that protect Americans from toxic chemicals, predatory marketing practices, dangerous labor and unsafe public health conditions, unsafe food and drugs, and much more."
[Release Letter to Congress | 12 AGs: California; Delaware; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


June 20, 2017
Filed Intervention In EPA Lawsuit Seeking Reduction In Greenhouse Gas Emissions 
In the D.C. Court of Appeals, attorneys general filed "a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s actions to halt regulation of leaks of greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollutants from new sources in the oil and gas industry."
[Release |Motion to Intervene | DC Court of Appeals | 14 AGs: Connecticut; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


June 13, 2017
Filed Suit Against Dept. of Energy For Failure to Publish Energy Efficiency Standards
In District Court, Northern District of California, attorneys general sued the Department of Energy "over its failure to comply with the law and publish in the Federal Register finalized energy efficiency standards for five products: portable air conditioners, uninterruptible power supplies, air compressors, walk-in coolers and freezers and commercial packaged boilers. These standards would save consumers and businesses an estimated $11.6 billion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 159 million tons, and conserve over 242 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity – the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of more than 19.3 million households – over a 30-year period." 
[Release | Complaint |11 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Vermont; Washington]


June 9, 2017
Promised Legal Fight If EPA Moves To Roll Back Key Vehicle Emission Standards
Attorneys general "warned the Trump Administration that any effort to roll back key vehicle emission standards would be met by a 'vigorous' court challenge. In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the coalition makes clear that it will take legal action if the EPA attempts to weaken air pollution standards set for passenger cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022 to 2025."
[Release |Letter to EPA | 14 AGs: Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai'i; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washingon, D.C.

June 6, 2017
Called On EPA Administrator To Issue Safety Findings On Pesticide 
Attorneys general "submitted legal objections yesterday to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for his failure to follow the law and make the required safety finding for chlorpyrifos, a pesticide used on more than 80 food crops. Many of these crops – like apples, strawberries, bananas, pears, peaches, nectarines and cherries – are consumed by infants and children."
[Release | Objections | 7 AGs: California; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Vermont; Washington]

June 6, 2017
Joined National "We Are Still In" Pledge To Maintain Commitments To Paris Climate Agreement 
Attorneys general declared they are still committed to the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Accord after President Trump announced the United States would pull out of the agreement.
[Release | Pledge | 19 AGs: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C.]

APRIL 2017

April 26, 2017
Opposed Bill Delaying EPA Protections for Ozone Air Quality Standards 
Attorneys general urged "Congress to protect critical ozone air quality standards. In letters to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the coalition detailed its opposition to the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 (S. 263 / H.R. 806) which would delay the ozone rule promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2015. That rule is expected to result in vital public health benefits."
[Release | Letter to Congress | 16 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Iowa; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Virginia; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.


April 18, 2017
Filed to Intervene in Dept. of Energy Lawsuit To Defend Energy Efficiency Standards 
In the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, attorneys general filed a motion to intervene "in order to defend energy saving light bulb regulations. In March, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) filed a lawsuit against DOE challenging energy efficiency regulations for lamps (light bulbs)...The challenged regulations broaden the definition of a category of lamp that is subject to stringent energy standards so that it now includes incandescent light bulbs as well as other historically inefficient lighting technologies. The lamp regulations were finalized in January 2017 and would result in substantial reductions in energy usage and the associated emissions, as well as increased cost savings for consumers."
[Release Motion to Intervene | 7 AGs: California; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C]


April 5, 2017
Opposed EPA's Efforts To Stall Clean Power Plan Case 
In the D.C. Court of Appeals, attorneys general "filed opposition to the Trump administration’s request to delay court proceedings regarding the Clean Power Plan...after President Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA to review the Clean Power Plan and decide whether to 'suspend, rescind, or revise' it...EPA filed a motion asking the court to hold the litigation in abeyance while the Agency reconsiders the rule."[Release | Opposition to Motion to Hold Proceeding in Abeyance |18 AGs: California; Connecticut; Deleware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


April 3, 2017
Objected to EPA Withdrawal of Information Request to Oil and Natural Gas Industry
Attorneys general "sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt objecting to the EPA’s unilateral withdrawal of an information collection request. The request was intended to gather information regarding the oil and natural gas industry on its emissions of natural gas or methane, a powerful greenhouse gas." 
[Release | Letter to EPA | 9 AGs: California; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington, D.C.]


April 3, 2017
Challenged Department of Energy For Blocking Energy Efficiency Standards
In the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City, attorneys general filed a petition "challenging the Department’s delay in issuing its Energy Conservation Standard for Ceiling Fans. The Department of Energy has estimated that over a thirty-year period this standard would save enough electricity to power between 10 and 35 million U.S. households for a year. The Standard for Ceiling Fans should have gone into effect on March 20, 2017, but has now been delayed twice."
[Release | Petition for Review | 9 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maine; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Vermont; Washington]
*STATUS: DOE relented; ceiling fan standards are now in effect. Additional energy efficiency standards remain at issue. 


April 3, 2017
Served Notice to Sue to Secretary Perry Over Failure to Publish Energy Efficiency Standards
Ten attorneys general sent a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry serving notice of their intent to sue "over the failure of the Department of Energy to submit for publication in the Federal Register five energy efficiency standards the agency issued in December 2016. These efficiency standards, applicable to air compressors, commercial packaged boilers, portable air conditioners, walk-in coolers and freezers, and unintermptible power supplies, were promulgated under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act."
[Letter to Sec. Perry | 10 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Vermont; Washington]


MARCH 2017

March 30, 2017
Urged Congress to Reject Proposals Gutting the EPA 
Attorney generals opposed "the proposed federal budget cuts to the EPA and its critical programs...the attorneys general point to the President’s recent proposal to cut 31 percent from the EPA’s budget, which is the biggest cut of any federal agency in the White House 2018 budget, as well as a bill introduced by Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz that would eliminate the EPA entirely on December 31, 2018."
[Release |Letter to Congress | 13 AGs: Connecticut; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington, D.C.]


FEBRUARY 2017

February 28, 2017
Urged Rep. Lamar Smith to End Congressional Interference with States' Exxon Investigation
Attorneys general "urged Rep. Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, to withdraw subpoenas sent to the Attorneys General of Massachusetts and New York, and to end the committee’s inquiry into investigations being conducted by the states of Massachusetts and New York into possible securities and consumer protection law violations by the ExxonMobil Corporation."
[Release | Letter to Congressman Lamar Smith | 15 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Illinois; Kentucky; Maine; Maryland; Mississippi; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Virginia; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


February 15, 2017
Urged Senate To Oppose Bill Eliminating States’ Authority To Protect Waterways Against Pollution From Commercial Vessels 
Attorneys general urged "opposition to the Commercial Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, legislation that would dramatically weaken clean water protections by preventing New York and other states from limiting the discharge of biological pollution by commercial shipping vessels into their waters. The bill would also take the radical step of exempting these discharges from the federal Clean Water Act."
[Release |Letter to U.S. Senate | 10 AGs: California; Illiniois; Maine; Massachusetts; Michigan; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington]


February 7, 2017
Opposed U.S. Senate Resolution to Void Methane Gas Safeguards
Attorneys general "sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer opposing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would void important safeguards that are vital to controlling the leaking, venting, and flaring of methane from oil and natural gas developments on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management."
[Release | Letter to Congress | 7 AGs: Illinois; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont]


JANUARY 2017

January 24, 2017
Filed to Intervene in EPA Suit to Keep Truck Emissions Rule in Place
In D.C. District Court, attorneys general filed a motion to intervene "to preserve a federal program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and engines...the attorneys general state they have substantial interests in strong, federal greenhouse gas emissions standards because such standards are needed – as part of broader efforts – to secure nationwide emissions reductions that are crucial to mitigate climate impacts that are already being experienced in their states. " 
[Release | Motion to Intervene | 7 AGsConnecticut; Iowa; Massachusetts; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington]


January 19, 2017
Sought to Defend EPA Rule Protecting States From Upwind Smog Pollution
In D.C. District Court, attorneys general sought to intervene  "in support of the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Update Rule, which requires power plants in 22 states to significantly reduce smog pollution that blows into downwind states...and threatens public health." The measure "has been challenged by fourteen energy corporations and upwind states seeking to overturn the rule."
[Release | Motion to Intervene | 6 AGs: Maryland; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New York; Rhode Island; Vermont]