Maryland among states suing EPA over methane emission guidelines

Maryland and 13 other states — plus D.C. and Chicago — have filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging it has failed its responsibility to issue guidelines to control methane emissions from oil and natural gas sources.

The suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, said the agency is violating its “mandatory” duty under the Clean Air Act.

It said the inaction is delaying the date by which states must submit their own methane control plans “and the date by which existing sources must comply with approved pollution control standards.”

Asked about the suit, an EPA spokesperson said Friday: “We don’t comment on pending litigation.”

Methane is a greenhouse gas. The suit alleges that methane emissions “harm plaintiffs and their citizens by significantly contributing to air pollution that causes climate change.”

Maryland is represented in the suit by Attorney General Brian E. Frosh.The other plaintiffs are New York, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Vermont, Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Oregon and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia and the city of Chicago.

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