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Arizona v. Thomas

Citation: 17 ELR 21093
No. No. 86-7164, 824 F.2d 745/26 ERC 1417/(9th Cir., 08/25/1987)

The court upholds the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) disapproval of Arizona's Clean Air Act state implementation plan (SIP) revisions for total suspended particulates, and EPA's proposed new particulate standard does not give Arizona a right to a deferral of EPA's decision. Arizona had submitted new source review rules for carbon monoxide (CO) and particulates for those parts of Pima County that it considered nonattainment. EPA, however, considered a much larger portion of the county to be nonattainment and disapproved the revisions. The court first holds that Arizona's challenge to the disapproval of the CO SIP revision is moot, since EPA has redesignated the CO nonattainment area to cover the same area Arizona considers to be nonattainment. The court next holds that EPA's disapproval of the particulates SIP revision was not arbitrary or capricious. The court rejects Arizona's argument that EPA was wrong to disapprove the revision while the agency was considering altering the particulate ambient standard and deferring the issuance of notices of inadequacy for other state SIPs, since Arizona has not shown that any other state received better treatment than it did. Arizona first received notice of its inadequate new source review rules in 1982, three years before deferral of inadequacy notices to other states began. Finally, the court holds that Arizona has no right to a deferral of EPA's action. Although EPA has proposed a new particulates standard, the agency has authority to impose the current standard as long as it is in force.

Counsel for Petitioner
James R. Redpath, Ass't Attorney General
1275 W. Washington, Phoenix AZ 85007
(602) 255-4266

Counsel for Respondent
David W. Zugschwerdt
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2686

Before Canby and Wilson,* JJ.