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Small Refiner Lead Phase-Down Task Force v. EPA

705 F.2d 506 (1983)

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Small Refiner Lead Phase-Down Task Force v. EPA

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

705 F.2d 506 (1983)

Facts

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (defendant) regulated the lead content of gasoline under the Clean Air Act. Prior to 1982, small oil refineries were subject to less strict standards than large refineries. In February 1982, the EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking and requested input about how to define a small refinery and whether it should relax its lead-content standards for all refiners or just small refineries. In August 1982, after receiving comments, the EPA issued a notice of a proposed rule that would subject small refineries to less strict standards than large refineries but gave a narrow definition of small refinery. At the end of October 1982, the EPA promulgated a rule that subjected small and large refineries to the same standards and gave small refineries time to meet the standards. The rule also further narrowed the definition of small refinery. The EPA explained that it wanted to close any loopholes that might have allowed small refiners to expand their production of leaded gasoline. The final definition of small refinery included a requirement that the refinery had produced no more than 10,000 barrels of oil per day in any calendar quarter since July 1981 (the past-production requirement) and that the refinery had not been owned by a large refinery after July 1981 (the past-ownership requirement). The past-production requirement had been proposed during the comment period by interested parties. The Small Refiner Lead Phase-Down Task Force (the Task Force) (plaintiff) argued that because of the last-minute changes to the standards and the definition of small refinery, the EPA did not give adequate notice of its past-production and past-ownership requirements.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wald, J.)

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