Environmental Groups Bring Legal Challenge against New Jersey's Withdrawal from RGGI
On June 6, 2012, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environment New Jersey filed a lawsuit (In re: RGGI, (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., 2012)) charging that New Jersey’s exit from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) ignored the public notice-and-comment requirements of the New Jersey Administrative Procedure Act (NJ APA). The NJ APA requires at least 30 days of notice and comment for adoption, amendment, or repeal of any rule. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) did not formally repeal the state’s RGGI implementation regulations. Instead, Governor Christie announced his plans to withdraw the state from RGGI at the end of the first three-year compliance period in December 2011, and the DEP announced that covered sources would no longer be required to hold permits. The NRDC and Environment New Jersey argue that this constitutes de facto repeal of the RGGI regulations and should have triggered the APA’s notice-and-comment requirement.