24 states file suit targeting EPA’s strengthened soot rule

By Sean Reilly | 03/06/2024 01:35 PM EST

The lawsuit, which comes on the first possible day for a legal challenge, is the opening salvo in what is expected to be an onslaught against the rule.

Car driving past power plant.

Soot pollution is spawned by sources including cars and power plants. David McNew/Getty Image

EPA formally published its final rule to tighten a key standard on airborne soot concentrations Wednesday and was swiftly greeted with the first salvos in what is expected to be a barrage of legal challenges.

In a filing submitted before 6 a.m., Kentucky and 23 other states brought the lawsuit with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, according to a spokesperson for Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman (R). The states are all represented by Republican attorneys general, though two, Kentucky and Kansas, have Democratic governors.

“The EPA’s new rule has more to do with advancing President Biden’s radical green agenda than protecting Kentuckians’ health or the environment,” Coleman said in an accompanying news release. “This rule will drive jobs and investment out of Kentucky and overseas, leaving employers and hardworking families to pay the price.”


Not far behind was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which also petitioned the D.C. Circuit Wednesday in tandem with seven other industry groups. The strengthened soot rule “has serious legal problems that warrant robust judicial review,” Marty Durbin, the business lobby’s senior vice president of policy, said in a statement. Among them, Durbin alleged, EPA broke the law by resetting the standard without considering “the foreseeable costs and consequences of its decision.”