Sierra Club v. Environmental Protection Agency
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
551 F.3d 1019 (D.C. Cir. 2008)
Section 112 of the Clean Air Act (Act), 42 U.S.C. § 7412, required that emission standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (defendant) contain maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards resulting in the “maximum degree of reduction in emissions.” Section 302(k) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7602(k), defined emission standards in part as “a requirement established by the State or the [EPA] which limits the quantity, rate, or concentration of emission of air pollutants on a continuous basis . . . .” The EPA issued regulations containing MACT standards, but exempted certain sources of pollution from the standards during periods of startups, shutdowns, and malfunctions (SSM). The regulations provided that during SSM periods, owners and operators of the sources would still be subject to a general duty to minimize emissions, but would not be subject to the MACT standards. The Sierra Club (plaintiff) petitioned for review, challenging the SSM exemption as non-compliant with the Act.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rogers, J.)
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