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Delaware Valley Citizens' Council for Clean Air v. Pennsylvania

Citation: 11 ELR 20952
No. Nos. 76-2068, 77-619, 17 ERC 1117/(E.D. Pa., 03/25/1981) Motion to intervene denied

The district court rules that motions to intervene filed by Pennsylvania state legislators 16 to 18 months after the parties signed a consent decree establishing an auto emissions inspection and maintenance (I/M) program are untimely and therefore must be denied. The Delaware Valley Citizens' Council for Clean Air and the United States filed suit to compel the State of Pennsylvania toestablish a program for the inspection and maintenance of an auto emissions system in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as required by § 110(c)(1)(B) of the Clean Air Act. After lengthy negotiations, the parties entered into a consent decree in April 1978, which, as modified, requires the implementation of an I/M program by May 1, 1981. The legislators moved to intervene arguing that the decree deprives them of their right to vote on the I/M program. The court concludes that intervention should not be allowed because (1) opening the decree for reconsideration one-and-one-half years after it was signed would be contrary to the public interest, (2) granting the motion would cause substantial prejudice to the parties to the consent decree and (3) the intervenors cannot convincingly complain of inadequate notice of the case.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Jerome Balter, James Lenard
Public Interest Law Center
1315 Walnut St., Philadelphia PA 19107
(215) 735-7200

James Sheehan, Ass't U.S. Attorney
3310 U.S. Cthse., 601 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19106
(215) 597-2556

Counsel for Defendants
John M. Hrubovcak, Ass't Attorney General
Office of Chief Counsel
Department of Transportation, Transportation & Safety Bldg., Harrisburg PA 17120
(717) 787-2330

Kenneth Gelburd, Deputy Attorney General
Department of Environmental Resources
9th Floor, Fulton Bldg., P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg PA 17120
(717) 787-2814