Attorney General Laxalt Files Suit Against EPA to Deter “Sue and Settle” Tactics Used to Disadvantage the State of Nevada

August 3, 2015

Carson City, NV – On Friday, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to meet a statutory mandated deadline. The EPA failed to approve, partially approve or deny the interstate transport portion of Nevada’s State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard within the time required by law. The deadline for the EPA to take final action was October 10, 2014.

    Although the state did not immediately pursue legal action against the EPA for its failure, on June 1, 2015, an environmental group gave notice that it planned to sue the EPA. After environmental groups have brought such suits in the past, the EPA and those groups have resolved the suits without input from the states by entering into an agreement that negatively impacts the states. The process of threatening to file suit or filing suit by environmental groups and then entering into a favorable settlement with the EPA is often referred to as “sue and settle” tactics. By filing its own suit first against the EPA, Nevada seeks to preserve the integrity of the settlement process and secure a result that is in the state’s best interests.

      “Like they have done before, environmental groups are trying to work out a side-deal with the EPA that leaves everyone else, including Nevadans, without a seat at the table,” said Laxalt. “We want to ensure that is not the outcome this time. When the EPA misses a deadline, that should not provide environmental groups with an opportunity to impose new regulations on the state through special settlements, especially without providing a meaningful opportunity for the state to represent all Nevadans in the settlement process.”

        To view the filed complaint, click here.