03/14/2019 - Legal Analysis

Rolling Back the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards: Proposed Withdrawal of “Appropriate and Necessary”

by Joe Goffman

Three Deregulatory Rules: One Legal Strategy

In recent months, the EPA has issued three proposals using similar strategies: the proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, the proposal to define the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act and the proposal to withdraw the supplemental “appropriate and necessary finding” for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). Underpinning all three proposals is an extremely narrow interpretation of statutory text that excludes any of the usual rulemaking considerations under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

In this paper we discuss EPA’s strategy, then focus on the proposal to rescind the supplemental appropriate and necessary finding for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Click here for the full text.


For more information on MATS please see our Rollback Tracker post, our CleanLaw podcast with Kathy Fallon Lambert, and our brief timeline of MATS milestones. EPA’s proposal is open for public comment until April 17th, and there’s a public hearing at EPA for the proposed changes on Monday, March 18, from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m EDT.