Clean Air Carolina, NRDC, and U.S. PIRG v. Department of Transportation et al.

Case Status


Last Update

In May 2017, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indefinitely suspended a key transportation rule designed to curb carbon pollution from vehicles using our national highway system. This commonsense rule required states to measure greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks traveling on the national highways and to set targets for reducing those emissions. It had broad public support, with more than 100 cities, 9 state transportation departments, 67 members of Congress, over 100 public interest organizations, and almost 100,000 individuals commenting in favor of it during its promulgation.

But that didn’t stop the FHWA from suspending the rule—without providing any advance notice or opportunity for public comment, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. So, in July 2017, NRDC, together with U.S. PIRG and Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of Clean Air Carolina, sued the FHWA.

On September 25, 2017, in response to our suit, the agency announced that it would be lifting the suspension, and the rule went into effect three days later. We continued to defend the rule, opposing the government’s efforts to dismiss our case as moot to ensure that the rule remained in effect and couldn’t be illegally suspended again. Unfortunately, the agency subsequently underwent a new rulemaking process to repeal the greenhouse gas measure altogether. In light of that repeal, we agreed to dismiss the lawsuit as moot.

Related Content