EPA drops appeal & Upcoming Court Dates

ALERT, Gulf Coast allies request action from EPA Administrator

September 30, 2021.  Gulf coast community organizations and allies for environmental justice sent a letter to EPA Administrator Regan requesting four immediate actions in relation to ongoing dispersant litigation and the associated EPA rulemaking:

  1. Let the August 9, 2021, court decision stand – do not appeal it.
  2. Withdraw the final rule on monitoring for atypical dispersant use (issued July 27, 2021; effective January 22, 2022).
  3. Immediately reopen the 2015 rulemaking with a 45-day public comment period to include relevant science from 2015 to 2021.
  4. Issue one final rule in its entirety by the court-ordered deadline of May 31, 2023.


We believe these actions are critical to preserve the intent and integrity of the EPA rulemaking process and citizen participation in it. We also believe these actions are necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of ourselves, our families, and our communities. The letter was copied to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and EPA regional administrators, among others. Read the letter here.


EPA appeals district court’s decisions

October 7, 2021.  EPA notifies the Ninth Circuit that it intends to appeal Judge Orrick’s August 9 ruling in our favor. EPA’s brief is due January 18, 2022, at which point we will know more about which aspects of the ruling EPA takes issue with.


EPA drops appeal!

November 8, 2021.  EPA voluntarily withdrew its appeal of our lawsuit. As a result, the court’s order for EPA to update the NCP for oil spill response based on current science STANDS. The court’s order to compel EPA to action based on unreasonable delay of its rule to determine what dispersants can be used safely STANDS. And the court judgment to impose a deadline of May 31, 2023, to complete the rule updates under court-ordered supervision STANDS.


Stay tuned for the next round as this is not over.

January 22, 2022 – Rule on monitoring of atypical dispersant use is effective… or not?

March 9, 2022 – First court-ordered EPA update on completing its rule

August 9, 2022 – Second court-ordered EPA update on completing its rule

March 9, 2023 – Third court-ordered EPA update on completing its rule

May 31, 2023 – Court-ordered deadline for EPA to complete its rule