Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


This joint release was produced by the Office of Governor Chris Gregoire and the Office of Attorney General Rob McKenna

OLYMPIA – The state of Washington today joined a group of twelve states, the District of Columbia and the City of New York in a suit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency for failing to adopt regulations that control emissions of global warming pollution from oil refineries. The suit challenges the EPA’s refusal to require new or renovated oil refineries to install technologies that control global warming pollution, in violation of the Clean Air Act.

"Washington state is doing its part to address climate change," said Gov. Chris Gregoire. "We continue to have to litigate to force the Bush administration to do its part. This is another example of the EPA failing to recognize the human health and environmental consequences of air pollution and climate change."

“The people of Washington state have always stood up to protect the environment. It’s time for leaders in the other Washington to do their part to address smog and global warming,” Attorney General McKenna said.

The suit announced today charges that the EPA violated the Clean Air Act when it refused to issue standards – known as New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) – for controlling global warming pollution emissions from oil refineries.

These standards ensure that new or renovated sources of air pollution install state-of-the-art emissions control technologies. The Clean Air Act specifically requires the EPA to adopt NSPS for oil refineries, as well as power plants and other major stationary sources, if the EPA determines they emit air pollution that poses a danger to public health and welfare. Nonetheless, on June 24, 2008, the EPA finalized new air pollution control regulations for oil refineries without setting a NSPS for global warming pollution.

Today’s challenge was filed in the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The coalition also includes California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The suit seeks to vacate the EPA’s decision not to control oil refinery emissions of global warming pollution and to order the EPA to adopt proper NSPS.



Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725