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Brown v. EPA

Citation: 5 ELR 20546
No. No. 73-3306, 521 F.2d 827/8 ERC 1053/(9th Cir., 08/15/1975)

The Clean Air Act does not authorize the EPA Administrator to impose sanctions or institute a civil action against a state or its officials for failure to enforce the transportation control provisions of the state implementation plan. The statutory language and legislative history are ambiguous as to whether such powers are vested in the Administrator, and the act should not be interpreted so expansively in the absence of a clear legislative intent, expecially when such an interpretation encounters fundamental constitutional questions and would drastically alter existing federal-state relationships. If a state fails to administer or enforce provisions of its plan, EPA may, under §113(a)(2) of the statute, enforce those provisions directly against polluters. Petitions for review by California and several state agencies are granted in part and all efforts by the Administrator to impose sanctions on the state are stayed.

Counsel for Petitioners
Joel Moslowitz Deputy Attorney General
Mark Weinberger
State Capitol
Sacramento, Cal. 95814

Counsel for Respondent
Neil Proto
John Graves
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530