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Dominion Transmission, Inc. v. Summers
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
723 F.3d 238 (2013)
Dominion Transmission, Incorporated (Dominion) (plaintiff) sought permission to construct a natural-gas-compressor station in Myersville, Maryland, pursuant to the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and the corresponding authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The NGA preempted all state and local regulations that were not expressly carved out from preemption. The Maryland Department of the Environment (the department) (defendant) administered the state’s air-quality program as part of Maryland’s implementation plan under the Clean Air Act. Maryland Code § 2-404(b)(1) prohibited the department from processing a permit application until the applicant: (1) submitted documentation demonstrating approval by the local jurisdiction for all zoning and land-use requirements or (2) submitted documentation that the source of emissions met all applicable zoning and land-use requirements. Dominion applied to the department for an air-quality permit on February 1, 2012. Soon after, the department informed Dominion that it failed to provide documentation of zoning compliance. On March 8, Dominion submitted a letter asserting that its compressor station would comply with zoning and land-use requirements. In April, Dominion submitted a zoning application to the Town of Myersville; the application was opposed by a citizen group. On June 5, the department returned Dominion’s air-quality-permit application for lack of documentation of local approval. Myersville denied Dominion’s zoning application in August. On December 20, Dominion received a certificate of public convenience and necessity for its Myersville compressor station. On December 21, Dominion again applied for an air-quality permit from the department, claiming that FERC’s certificate impliedly preempted Myersville zoning and land-use requirements. Several weeks later, the department informed Dominion that it was unable to process the application due to a lack of compliance documentation as required by § 2-404(b)(1). Dominion petitioned the court of appeals for review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Griffith, J.)
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