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The D.C. Circuit Rejects Sierra Club's Citizen Suit

In a decision issued Friday, the D.C. Circuit rejected the Sierra Club's appeal of the dismissal of its suit seeking to compel the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop the construction of two power plants in Kentucky. The Sierra Club brought thi
July 5, 2011

In a decision issued Friday, the D.C. Circuit rejected the Sierra Club's appeal of the dismissal of its suit seeking to compel the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop the construction of two power plants in Kentucky. The Sierra Club brought this suit under the citizen suit provision of the Clean Air Act to challenge the EPA's failure to take action to prevent the construction of three proposed pollution-emitting facilities in Kentucky. The court below held that there was no mandatory duty to act, and granted the EPA's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, which the environmental group appealed. In Friday's decision, the court agreed with the EPA administrator that she had sufficient discretion to render her decision not to act against the plants. According to the panel, if the administrator is satisfied that the permit issued under the noncompliant SIP is sufficient, then she has made the decision that no action is necessary, in which case there are no legal standards for judicial review. The decision can be read here.

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Elizabeth S. Cha, Associate
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