A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources against its federal counterpart.
In December 2013, the state challenged new, tighter limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for air pollution the size of smoke particles or smaller. Cars, refineries, factories, and power plants—especially coal plants—emit this particulate matter.
State environment officials objected to the tightening of the standard, saying it could limit companies from working in the state, and launched the lawsuit.
In the decision dismissing the suit, the federal judge says that challenge came too late—the EPA issued its rule three years before the lawsuit. The Clean Air Act allows a 60-day window for challenges to such rules.