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Sierra Club v. Costle

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
657 F.2d 298 (1981)



The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (defendant) adopted a rule to govern emissions from coal burning power plants pursuant to the 1977 Amendments to the Clean Air Act (CAA). After the comment period was closed, the EPA received almost 300 late comment submissions, which it accepted and entered into the administrative docket. In the post-comment period, the EPA also engaged in ex parte communications with interested parties, legislators, and the president’s staff. The EPA inadvertently failed to docket one meeting with Senate staff. In addition, the EPA did not docket a meeting with White House officials. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) (plaintiff) challenged part of the final regulation on the ground that the EPA would have adopted a stricter standard for emissions if it had not engaged in such communications after the close of the comment period.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Ward, J.)

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