The Valley Air District said it prevailed in a legal challenge by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to a landmark regulation addressing development-related emissions.
Rule 9150, Indirect Source Review, was first upheld by the federal District Court in 2007. The ruling was appealed, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals again upheld the rule last year. In June of this year, NAHB filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the appellate court decision. Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a decision declining to hear the case, according to a news release from the air district.
The petition was the NAHB’s last legal recourse against the rule, which requires new developments in the Valley in to mitigate their air emissions, the news release said. The NAHB argued that the rule imposes an engine standard on construction equipment that is pre-empted by the Clean Air Act.
The state Building Industry Association filed a separate challenge to Rule 9510 in state court. , The air district won that case in 2008, a decision that was upheld on appeal in 2009. Last year, the California Supreme Court refused to grant the state Building Industry Association’s petition to review the case, according to the news release.
Rule 9510 holds developers accountable for air-quality impacts that result from building activity and also for air-quality impacts that result from the development’s use. Developers have options for offsetting pollution through a variety of mitigation measures — for example, bike paths, increased energy efficiency or building new developments close to transit stops, the news release said.
Fees are assessed for pollution that exceeds thresholds established by the air district, which uses the fees to achieve off-site emission reductions by funding clean-air projects such as retiring polluting vehicles and paving unpaved roads.