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Texans United for a Safe Economy Educ. Fund v. Crown Cent. Petroleum Corp.

Citation: 28 ELR 21563
No. H-97-2427, (S.D. Tex., 08/03/1998)

The court holds that a state environmental agency's enforcement actions against a petroleum company preclude a citizen suit against the company for Clean Air Act (CAA) violations. The court first holds that CAA § 304 does not permit the litigation to proceed. CAA § 304 precludes citizen suits where a state agency has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil action in court to require compliance with the standing limitation or order. Plaintiffs failed to identify any deficiency in the state agency's proposed relief, which is the substantial equivalent to that available in court. In addition, the procedures under which the state agency conducts enforcement actions provide for meaningful citizen participation as a matter of right. And there is no evidence that the state agency's efforts have been dilatory or otherwise in bad faith. Absent evidence to the contrary, the agency's diligence in prosecuting the CAA violations is presumed.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Mark Wenzler
Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
1717 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Ste. 800, Washington DC 20036
(202) 797-8600/8700

Counsel for Defendant
Louis S. Zimmerman
Fulbright & Jaworski
600 Congress Ave., Ste. 2400, Austin TX 78701
(512) 474-5201