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Clean Air Coordinating Comm. v. Roth-Adam Fuel

Citation: 2 ELR 20440
No. No. 72-1304, 465 F.2d 323/4 ERC 1340/(7th Cir., 07/03/1972)

A citizen suit seeking to enjoin state court review of Illinois's implementation plan under the Clean Air Act, on the basis that transmission of the completed plan to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be delayed beyond the statutory time limit, is barred by the federal anti-injunction statute. A federal court may not grant an injunction to stay state court proceedings except (i) as expressly authorized by Congress, (ii) where necessary to aid its jurisdiction, or (iii) to protect its judgment. The second and third exceptions are not even arguably applicable. Nor does the language of the Clean Air Act contain anything which can be interpreted as an express congressional authorization. Whilte congressional authorization may be implied where the federal power has pre-empted an area, the Clean Air Act specifically leaves to the states the "primary responsibility" for assuring air quality. It is also significant that the plaintiff/appellant is not a public authority seeking to discharge its responsibilities; EPA has not seen fit to file this action.

Finally, where it appears that the federal agency could have surmounted the anti-injunction statute, a private suit which is a necessary supplement to agency enforcement of the provision in question may also overcome the statute. Here, however, it is far from clear that EPA could overcome the anti-injunction statute. When a state does not submit its implementation plan on schedule, the specific action contemplated by the Clean Air Act is the proposal and implementation by EPA of its own plan, not a challenge in court. Appeal denied. Attorney's costs to defendant/appellee.

Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant
Richard Kates
208 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Counsel for Defendant/Appellee
Harry A. Young
33 North LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602

David Landgraf Illinois Pollution Control Board
188 West Randolph Street
Rm 2315
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Before SWYGERT, Chief Judge, FAIRCHILD, and CUMMINGS, Circuit Judges.