New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Monday the suit is aimed at forcing the EPA to adopt new regulations to reduce oil industry pollution that contributes to global warming.
Other states in the suit are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said the lawsuit "raises an important point of law that could outlive this Administration."
The suit was filed in a federal court for the District of Columbia Circuit. It is the latest by states critical of the EPA's record.
EPA officials did not immediately return a call for comment.