An abeyance motion, filed Feb. 18 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) — with the consent of all parties and intervenors involved in the case — had suspended all court proceedings until March 3 to accommodate pending mediation. Parties in the lawsuit filed a motion to continue to suspend court proceedings while mediation is ongoing.
The Feb. 18 abeyance motion reads: “With the assistance of a mediator, through this Court’s appellate mediation program, all parties and intervenors are nearing agreement on final terms of a settlement of this case. We anticipate that the negotiations on settlement and implementation will be completed by March 3, 2014. In addition, the government will seek approval of the settlement pursuant to 28 C.F.R. Part Y. We will undertake our best efforts to obtain such approval within the same timeframe.”
In December 2013, the court adopted a briefing schedule jointly submitted by the DOE; APGA; Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA); the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI); Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI); and other parties involved in the regional standards lawsuit. The Feb. 18 abeyance motion suspends the briefing schedule as parties continue mediation.
The DOE also filed an abeyance motion in November 2012, less than two months before settling with the American Public Gas Association (APGA) and filing a joint motion with APGA to vacate and remand for further rulemaking the regional standards for nonweatherized natural gas furnaces. That joint motion has not yet been accepted by the court.