Alabama Air Pollution Control Comm'n v. Republic Steel Corp.
Citation: 11 ELR 20663
No. No. 80-77328, 646 F.2d 210/16 ERC 1145/(5th Cir., 05/29/1981)
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reverses in part and affirms in part a district court ruling that steel production is comprised of three separate and independent processes under state law and emissions from appellee's steel-making facility did not violate applicable emission limitations. However, it rules that sanctions were properly withheld because appellee voluntarily updated its air pollution control equipment. The circuit court, applying the plain meaning rule to the state regulations and deferring to appellants' consistent interpretation, finds that the three phases of steel production constitute one process, and thus appellee was not in compliance with the emissions limitations. The circuit court holds, however, that due to appellee's voluntary efforts to reduce the total emissions from the plant, the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to impose sanctions or to grant injunctive relief.
Counsel for Appellants
David A. Ludder, Darwin Morris, Ass't Attorneys General
State Administrative Bldg., Montgomery AL 36130
Counsel for Appellee
James Ross Forman III
Thomas, Taliaferro, Forman, Burr & Murray
1600 Bank for Savings Bldg., Birmingham AL 35203
Before TJOFLAT, HATCHETT and THOMAS A. CLARK, Circuit Judges.