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In re In re Aluminum Co. of Am.

Citation: 11 ELR 20554
No. No. M-80-13, 15 ERC 1116/(M.D.N.C., 07/19/1980)

The district court denies the Aluminum Co. of America's (ALCOA's) motion to quash an administrative search warrant, ruling that under § 114(a)(2) of the Clean Air Act the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is authorized to use non-Agency personnel in making inspections of emission sources. The court determines initially that because ALCOA failed to seek preenforcement review of the warrant, despite the fact that it had adequate prior notice, renders the motion to quash moot. Nevertheless, the court rules that on the merits the motion must be denied. Section 114(a)(2) of the Act, particularly when viewed in contrast to § 208, reveals Congress' intent to authorize the EPA Administrator to utilize independet contractors to assist Agency employees in conducting inspections. This reading of the Act is confirmed by the legislative history. The court adds that the bringing of independent contractors into ALCOA's plant did not expose it to a risk of losing trade secrets for which it has no legal remedy, for it has a cause of action against both EPA employees and independent contractors in the case of unauthorized disclosure of confidential materials.

Counsel for Environmental Protection Agency
H. M. Michaux Jr., U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 1858, Greensboro NC 27402
(919) 378-5351

Judson W. Starr
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2810

Counsel for Aluminum Co. of America
James C. Smith, George V. Hanna III
Moore & Van Allen
3000 NCNB Plaza, Charlotte NC 28280
(704) 374-1300

Richard L. Holz
Legal Department
Aluminum Co. of America, ALCOA Bldg., Pittsburgh PA 15219
(412) 553-4203