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United States v. Interlake, Inc.

ELR Citation: 7 ELR 20494
Nos. No. 76-C-3599, 429 F. Supp. 193/10 ERC 1089/(N.D. Ill., 02/11/1977) Motion to dismiss denied

The United States brought suit to enjoin defendant from operating a by-product coke production facility in Chicago, claiming that the plant was in violation of the Illinois state implementation plan under the Clean Air Act. The district Court refuses to dismiss the case but grants defendant's motion to stay. Abstention is proper where the same issues are being considered by a state administrative agency even though plaintiff has a statutory right to bring a concurrent suit in the federal court. Section 307 of the Clean Air Act does not prevent defendant from raising the constitutional defenses of vagueness and denial of due process in an enforcement proceeding under the state plan. The state may properly be the first to interpret its own law where the rule in question has very limited application and is applied only in concrete circumstances and where the state's interpretation may avoid unnecessary consideration of the federal constitutional issue or may render the entire case moot.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Thomas B. Dent, Ass't U.S. Attorney
219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago IL 60604
(312) 353-5300

Counsel for Defendant
W. Gerald Thursby, Lawrence A. McHugh
Rooks, Pitts, Fullager & Proust
Suite 1776, 208 S. LaSalle St., Chicago IL 60604
(312) 372-5600