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Alabama ex rel. Graddick v. Veterans Admin.

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 20011
Nos. No. 86-H-465-E, 648 F. Supp. 1208/(M.D. Ala., 11/07/1986)

The court rules that states may bring citizen suits under the Clean Air Act against federal facilities for past violations of asbestos emissions standards. The court first finds that it has subject matter jurisdiction because the case is an action arising under federal law, and that states have standing under the Clean Air Act's provisions granting states enforcement authority over emission standards for hazardous air pollutants, waiving federal facilities' sovereign immunity, and permitting citizen suits. Since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Alabama's implementation plan and asbestos is a hazardous air pollutant, Alabama has the same authority as EPA to enforce asbestos emission standards. Rejecting contrary precedent from the 5th Circuit under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the court rules that citizen suits may be brought to address past violations as well as ongoing violations. Alabama may enforce its regulations in federal court because they are both state and federal regulations, since EPA has adopted the regulations. The court has pendent jurisdiction over state claims against private defendants since they arise out of the same operative core of facts as the federal claim.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Carry Allen, Ass't Attorney General
Department of Environmental Management
64 N. Union St., Montgomery AL 36130
(205) 271-7855

Counsel for Defendants
Kenneth Vines, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 197, Montgomery AL 36101
(205) 832-7280