American Farm Bureau, et al. v. U.S. EPA (Particulate Matter)


D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

NAHB Involvement


Opening briefs were filed on Oct. 2, 2007, and NAHB's amicus brief was filed on Jan. 29, 2008. All briefing was finalized in March 2008, and oral argument was held on Sept. 15, 2008.

On Feb. 24, 2009, the court issued its decision. In a victory for NAHB, the court upheld EPA's decision to regulate both urban and non-urban sources of coarse particulate matter (PM). If the court had determined that EPA should have not regulated non-urban sources of coarse PM, the housing industry would have been disproportionately regulated for dust emissions from other sources, such as agriculture. The case was not a complete victory, because the court remanded back to EPA the fine PM standard it promulgated at the same time it issued the coarse PM standard. The court held that EPA failed to ground its conclusion in the available science and also failed to adequately explain its decision-making process. Nonetheless, the coarse PM standard was of most immediate concern to NAHB members, and its preservation is an important win.

Because no party sought appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the decision of the D.C. Circuit stands and NAHB's participation is now complete.