NRDC & Partners Sue Trump Administration Over Stalled Landfill Pollution Limits

WASHINGTON – Capping a week of legal setbacks for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the Natural Resources Defense Council and partner groups filed a motion asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overturn Pruitt’s suspension of standards to curb methane emissions and other dangerous air pollutants from the nation’s landfills. The groups today filed a motion for summary disposition in the suit brought on June 15.

“Scott Pruitt’s suspension of EPA’s landfill pollution standards is a carbon copy of his illegal attempt to block methane standards for the oil and gas industry,” said David Doniger, director of NRDC’s climate and clean air program. “The court threw out Pruitt’s illegal stay of the methane rules last month, and we’re asking it to do the same here.”

“While Pruitt pays lip service to the rule of law, he’s done nothing but cut corners in his haste to roll back vital public health and climate protections for the American people. The courts are now holding him to account. And the Trump administration has lost or retreated in cases that forced it to follow the law on protecting the Rusty Patch Bumble Bee, limiting ozone, mercury and methane pollution, and on energy efficiency standards,” Doniger added.

In May, Pruitt issued a 90-day stay of the landfill rules and asserted that industry had been deprived of the chance to comment on technical issues during the previous administration. But NRDC’s motion shows that every issue Pruitt cited was fully aired in the prior rulemaking, and industry stakeholders made their views known.

In July, the court overturned Pruitt’s effort to stay the oil and gas rules on the same pretext. This mirror action deserves the same response, NRDC and others contend.

NRDC brought the landfill suit together with Clean Air Council, Clean Wisconsin, and Conservation Law Foundation.

The groups’ filing is here:

The June 15 petition is here:


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.