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St. Joe Minerals Corp. v. EPA

Citation: 5 ELR 20188
No. No. 72-1543, 508 F.2d 743/7 ERC 1465/(3d Cir., 01/29/1975)

The EPA Administrator has authority under §§ 110 and 116 of the Clean Air Act to disapprove portions of state air quality implementation plans which he determines to be technologically or economically infeasible. Admitting that the Act does not expressly grant the Administrator such power, the court holds that this conclusion is nonetheless implicit in its earlier rulings in Duquesne Light & Power Co. v. EPA and Getty Oil Co. v. Ruckelshaus, and in the Fourth Circuit's decision in Appalachian Power Co. v. EPA. The court notes that the courts of appeals may consider technological and economic feasibility in reviewing implementation plans, and reasons that the Administrator must surely have the authority to review plans on these same grounds and disapprove portions he finds unreasonable. The Administrator's approval of the sulfur oxide emissions portion of the Pennsylvania implementation plan, which he later determined to be technologically infeasible but refused to disapprove, is therefore vacated and remanded to the agency.

Counsel for Petitioner
John McN. Cramer
Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay
747 Union Trust Building
P.O. Box 2009
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15230

Counsel for Respondent
Wallace H. Johnson Asst. Attorney General
Edmund B. Clark
Martin Green
John E. Varnum
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530