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American Motors Corp. v. Blum

Citation: 9 ELR 20549
No. No. 78-1799, 603 F.2d 978/13 ERC 1412/(D.C. Cir., 07/20/1979)

The court reverses the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator's waiver of federal preemption of California's 1.0 grams per mile (gpm) NOx emission standard for model years 1980 and 1981 light duty motor vehicles insofar as it applies to vehicles manufactured by small producers such as petitioner. Section 202(b)(1)(B) of the Clean Air Act provides that EPA must prescribe an NOx standard of 2.0 gpm for model years 1981 and 1982 for small manufacturers that lack the resources to meet the stricter standard otherwise applicable. The court holds that this provision for an additional two-year lead time for small producers is incorporated into the § 202(a)(2) directive that the Administrator make the federal standards effective only after the period of time necessary to develop and apply the requisite control technology. Because the California standards are inconsistent with § 202(a) in this respect, a waiver of federal preemption cannot be granted under § 209(b)(1). The Administrator's waiver decision is therefore vacated to the extent that it denies the statutorily prescribed lead time.

Counsel for Petitioner
Alan S. Weitz, David J. Freeman, Kenneth I. Gluckman
Ginsburg, Feldman & Bress
1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 637-9000

Counsel for Respondent
James McNab III; Bruce I. Bertelsen; Joan Z. Bernstein, General Counsel; Gerald K. Gleason
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 755-2511

David Dearing, Sanford Sagalkin; James W. Moorman, Ass't Attorney General; Angus MacBeth, Lloyd Guerci
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2654

Counsel for Intervenor State of California
Joel S. Moskowitz, Deputy Attorney General
State Capitol, Sacramento CA 95814
(916) 445-2256

Before WRIGHT, Chief Judge, and MacKINNON and ROBB, Circuit Judges.