United States v. Power Engineering Co.

303 F.3d 1232 (2002)

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United States v. Power Engineering Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
303 F.3d 1232 (2002)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD

Facts

Power Engineering Co. and related parties (collectively, PEC) (defendants) were engaged in a business that produced large amounts of hazardous waste in Denver, Colorado. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the State of Colorado was authorized to administer its own hazardous-waste program instead of following the federal program. The state’s department of public health issued compliance and civil-penalty orders against PEC, but PEC failed to comply. The state initiated an enforcement action against PEC. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested that the state enforce the RCRA’s financial-assurance requirements, but the state declined to do so. While the state action was pending, the EPA filed its own enforcement action against PEC, a practice known as overfiling. The EPA interpreted the RCRA in a manner that allowed overfiling. The district court granted summary judgment to the EPA, rejecting the argument that the EPA’s action was barred and finding that PEC must provide over $2.1 million in financial assurances. PEC appealed, challenging the EPA’s ability to file a duplicative enforcement action.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Tacha, C.J.)

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