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Virginia v. Browner
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
80 F.3d 869 (1996)
Virginia (plaintiff) sought review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) (defendant) disapproval of its air-pollution permitting structure pursuant to Title V of the Clean Air Act (CAA). One of the key requirements of Title V was that permitting decisions be subject to judicial review. Virginia’s air-pollution permitting structure allowed the permit applicant to challenge the permitting decision in court but restricted standing for third parties only to those with a substantial monetary interest. Those restrictions violated Title V. The EPA disapproved Virginia’s permitting structure, subjecting Virginia to potential CAA sanctions, including restricted federal highway funding, increased pollution-offset requirements, and having the EPA step in to set up Title V permitting in Virginia. Virginia challenged, arguing (1) Title V requirements impinged on state sovereignty; and (2) the Title V sanctions violated the Spending Clause and the Tenth Amendment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Michael, J.)
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