On May 31, 2012, a federal district court ordered U.S. EPA to issue its proposed rule for review of the national ambient air quality standards for particulate matter by June 7, 2012. The court concluded that U.S. EPA had not provided a reasonable explanation as to why the rulemaking had been delayed. Although U.S. EPA reported that it submitted its draft proposed rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget on May 29, 2012 interagency review, these reviews typically take months to complete.
In pleadings submitted to the court, U.S. EPA had indicated that it would need until August 2013 to finalize the rule. Plaintiffs (including the American Lung Association and several states) are seeking a final rule by December 2012. The court took no position with respect to when a final rule would need to be issued, indicating that it would wait to hear from U.S. EPA at a June 11th hearing.