Court Upholds EPA Snowmobile Regs, But Requests Further Info

Gosh, we haven’t written about snowmobiles in weeks! Yesterday a federal appeals court gave us another excuse to do so when it upheld the U.S. EPA’s 2002 snowmobile emissions regulations, but ordered the agency to provide a more adequate explanation for why some 30 percent of new snowmobiles would not be required to install emission-reducing technology. The regulations require only 70 percent of new snowmobiles to be built with cleaner-burning engines by 2012. At issue in the case — brought by enviro groups Environmental Defense and the Bluewater Network — was whether that standard was the best that could be done, as the EPA claimed. Bluewater attorney James S. Pew called the ruling “a big deal” and said the court had “sent EPA back to the drawing board.” The snowmobile industry also claimed victory; a spokesperson said the ruling showed the court “agreed with the EPA rule in general.” Something tells us we’ll be hearing more about this.