July 24th, 2020

Continuing her record of defending proven and effective environmental regulations, Attorney General Dana Nessel took action twice this summer against the Trump Administration’s reckless rollbacks of both the national Clean Car Standards and the Clean Water Act.

Nessel took the first step against these attacks back in May, when she joined a lawsuit alongside other states against a recently finalized federal rule that weakens the national Clean Car Standards that were developed in 2010. The rules were designed to reduce emissions from vehicles that are a significant contributor to climate change, improve the health of Americans by having better air quality, and save drivers money by getting better fuel economy. Thankfully, the standards were successful at achieving all three of these goals before they became a target of the current EPA. Specifically, the lawsuit AG Nessel signed on to contends that the EPA’s rollbacks violate the statutory text and congressional mandates they are bound by and they improperly and unlawfully relied on poor analysis to justify changing the existing standards.

AG Nessel also went to bat to defend our environment and public health in July by joining attorneys general in other states to file a lawsuit against the EPA’s rule restricting state authority in certain sections of the Clean Water Act. Until recently, states had the authority and flexibility to review and potentially deny federally permitted projects within their boundaries. In effect, this modified rule will prevent states from having any say in decisions over whether to allow projects to continue that pollute their own waters. In the lawsuit, the state AGs argue the rollbacks are unlawful because they expressly violate the clear intent and purpose of the Clean Water Act, goes against Supreme Court precedent on this matter, and contradict the EPA’s own interpretations of this section of the Act that spans numerous administrations, both Republican and Democrat.

Signing on to both of these lawsuits this summer once again displays AG Nessel’s desire to defend Michigan’s air and water. These actions should be commended by all Michigan residents.