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Presque Isle environmental group appeals ruling to supreme court

Submitted by on March 26, 2010 – 6:36 amNo Comment

A Presque Isle based environmental group is taking its case to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Citizens for Environmental Inquiry (CEI) has thus far been unsuccessful it its quest to force the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (formerly the DEQ) to promulgate or make known the rules governing carbon dioxide (CO2) as an air pollutant prior to the issuance of new clean air permits.

The Court of Appeals turned the groups’ argument down in February.  But now the group is challenging a different part of the court’s ruling.  The appeals court held that they were required by binding decisions of the Supreme Court to not allow a citizen’s lawsuit questioning the administrative action of a State agency.

CEI is represented by former 26th Circuit Court Judge Joseph Swallow.  Swallow said the issue on appeal is whether or not a citizen can maintain a lawsuit against a State agency for refusing to follow a legislative mandate that they regulate carbon dioxide (CO2). 

The group issued a statement that said, “It is no longer a major issue that CO2 is a pollutant or that existing law requires its regulation.  The ultimate question is now reduced to one of whether or not a citizen can sue to require a State agency to do what the law requires of them.”

Swallow said, “The present Supreme Court under prevailing circumstances may reconsider earlier decisions prohibiting a lawsuit of this nature.  CEI’s Petition for Leave to Appeal provides them the opportunity to change the law.” 

In addition to the DNRE, Wolverine Power Supply, Consumers Energy and Mid-Michigan Energy are named in the lawsuit.