Paul Gutermann Quoted by Law360 on New EPA Ozone Standards

Akin Gump environment and natural resources partner Paul Gutermann has been quoted by Law360 in the article “Industry Has Edge Over Enviros To Fight EPA Ozone Rule,” regarding the potential legal challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s lowering of the nation’s ozone standards to 70 parts per billion from 75 parts per billion. The article notes that environmental and public health advocates had been pushing for a bigger drop, while industry groups wanted to keep the standard in place.

To those who argue that the EPA has set an unattainable standard, particularly in some regions where natural background ozone levels may be above the 70-parts-per-billion mark, Gutermann said the issue is something he suspects “industry will go hard on. It’s got a common-sense appeal.”

While any deference the courts show to the EPA may be broad, it will not be limitless. The EPA, Gutermann said, “generally gets a pretty wide berth in setting NAAQS (National Ambient Air Quality Standards), though in recent years, the D.C. Circuit has become more skeptical of the EPA’s [justifications]. And the Supreme Court has been willing to give a more searching look than in the days where EPA simply [waived Chevron deference] and the court went along.”