Saturday, May 4, 2013

Union Electric Company v. EPA case brief

Union Electric Company v. EPA case brief
427 U.S. 246 (1976)

CASE SYNOPSIS: Petitioner utility company sought review of the order from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which dismissed the utility company's petition to review the decision of respondent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve air quality standards promulgated by the state of Missouri in response to the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C.S. § 1857c-5(a)(2)(A).

FACTS: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator promulgated standards set out in 40 C.F.R. §§ 50.4- 50.4 (1975). Missouri promulgated standards, which were approved by the administrator. The Missouri plan imposed emissions limitations but retained authority to grant variances to sources that could not immediately comply. The utility company, which owned power plants, obtained a variance from the state. When the variance expired, the administrator notified the utility company that its emissions violated the Missouri plan. The utility company sought review from the Court of Appeals, which granted the EPA's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The court affirmed the Court of Appeals' decision. The court held that a claim of economic or technological infeasibility could not be considered in a petition for review filed more than 30 days after approval of the plan. Any new grounds must have been such that if they were known at the time the plan was presented to the administrator for approval, it would have been abuse of discretion for the administrator to so approve. The court also held that states were free to impose stricter controls than the national standards.

CONCLUSION: The court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals to dismiss the utility company's petition to review the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to approve the Missouri standards.

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