EPA Need Not Respond to Petition of Activist Groups.

The plaintiffs, a consortium of environmental activist groups and community organizers, sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for not responding to their 2011 petition that alleged that ammonia gas from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) endangered public health and welfare, should be designated as a "criteria pollutant" under the Clean Air Act (CAA), and that National Ambient Air Quality Standards should be established for ammonia.  The plaintiffs sought to compel the EPA to respond within 90 days and also claimed that the EPA had violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) by not responding.  However, the court ruled that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear the petition, because the plaintiffs should have brought suit under the CAA which requires a 180-day notice before filing.  Because the CAA provided a remedy for the plaintiffs, they were required to sue under the CAA before attempting to sue under the APA. The petition was dismissed.  The plaintiffs have stated in another court filing that they will provide the required 180-day notice and sue under the CAA.  Environmental Integrity Project, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 15-0139 (ABJ), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160578 (D. D.C. Dec. 1, 2015).