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Pennsylvania v. EPA

Citation: 5 ELR 20618
No. No. 73-2121, 500 F.2d 246/6 ERC 1769/(3d Cir., 06/28/1974)

The EPA Administrator neither misinterpreted congressional intent nor violated the Constitution in making the enforcement penalties of § 113 of the Clean Air Act applicable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for any failure by it to implement the Philadelphia Transportation Plan. Although § 113 may, as so interpreted, impinge on traditional state functions, it is nonetheless valid as an exercise of the federal commerce power. On this petition for review of parts of the plan, which was promulgated by the EPA Administrator to replace the commonwealth's disapproved plan, the court of appeals applies the "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion . . ." standard of review specified in the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A). The Administrator's concession of error in the agency's techniques for measuring carbon monoxide in the Pittsburgh area renders his older vehicle air bleed retrofit rules for that area arbitrary and capricious and thus invalid. The same program was, however, properly applied to the Philadelphis area; the record fuly supports the Administrator's choice of the air bleed retrofit device to decrease carbon monoxide emissions, and his judgment is not affected by the recent development of a gasoline shortage of uncertain duration. That portion of the air bleed retrofit program applicable to the Pittsburgh area is set aside; in all other respects the petition for review is denied.

Counsel for Petitioner
Barbara H. Brandon
Karin Carter Asst. Attorneys General
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Pa. 17120

Counsel for Respondent
Wallace H. Jackson Asst. Attorney General
Edmund B. Clark
Martin Green
Michael D. Graves
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530