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American Iron & Steel Inst. v. EPA

Citation: 7 ELR 20738
No. No. 76-1386, 568 F.2d 284/10 ERC 1689/(3d Cir., 09/14/1977)

The court invalidates the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) decision to exempt by regulation steel plants in the Mahoning River Valley from the effluent limitations generally applicable to that point source category. The exemption cannot stand in view of the command in § 301(e) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments that effluent limitations be applied to all point sources. On petitions to review the interim final regulations setting effluent guidelines limitations for the iron and steel manufacturing point source category, the court holds that the agency failed to give adequate notice that the regulations would govern the specialty steel industry. The portion of the rules applying to that industry is therefore invalid for failure to meet the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. Petitioners' contention that the limitations themselves are invalid because they state a maximum permissible level of effluent discharge rather than a range of permissible levels is untenable in light of this court's recent modification of its earlier ruling in light of this court's recent modification of its earlier ruling in American Iron & Steel Institute v. EPA, 7 ELR 20624. The court rules that the regulations must be remanded to the agency, however, because EPA has failed to determine that plant age has no bearing on the cost or feasibility of retrofitting plants with pollution control technology or to take into account the indirect costs such as land acquisition and safety systems associated with the installation of pollution control equipment. The agency must also reconsider the financing burden that the regulations place on the industry and the technological feasibility of methods of meeting the thermal effluent limitations in the regulations that can minimize cooling water loss through evaporation.

Counsel for Petitioners American Iron and Steel Institute et al.
David McNeil Olds, Blair S. McMillin, Thomas C. Wettach, Thomas J. Duman
Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay
P.O. Box 2009, Pittsburgh PA 15230
(412) 288-3131

David S. Watson, Peter G. Veeder, Frank J. Clements
Thorp, Reed & Armstrong
2900 Grant Building, Pittsburgh PA 15219
(412) 288-7711
Max N. Edwards, Richard E. Schwartz
Collier, Shannon, Rill, Edwards & Scott
1055 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Washington DC 20007
(202) 337-6000

Counsel for Petitioner Sierra Club
John D. Hoffman
Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund
311 California St., San Francisco CA 94104
(415) 398-1411
Jerome S. Kalur
Weston, Hurd, Fallon, Sullivan & Paisley
2500 Terminal Tower, Cleveland OH 44113
(216) 241-6602

Counsel for Respondents
Alfred T. Ghiorzi, Edmund B. Clark, Raymond W. Mushal
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 737-8200
Barry L. Malter, Office of General Counsel
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 755-2500

Seitz, C.J., Joined by Rosenn and Meanor,* JJ.