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United States v. General Motors Corp.

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 20853
Nos. No. 87-2068-Mc, 27 ERC 1665/(D. Mass., 05/16/1988)

The court rules that the Clean Air Act's four-month limitation on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) approval of state implementation plans (SIPs) applies to the Agency's decisions on proposed SIP revisions, and EPA is prohibited from enforcing an original SIP until it acts on a proposed SIP revision if its decision is delayed beyond four months. Existing case law supports application of the four-month deadline to decisions on SIP revisions. To allow EPA to proceed indefinitely without accepting or rejecting a state's proposed revisions while at the same time enforcing the previous law would violate the cooperative division of authority between the states and the federal government under the statute. The four-month limitation is reasonable, since EPA may at any time reject the proposal and enforce the SIP. In addition, EPA may identify and expedite truly important proposals for SIP revisions, and any deadline longer than four months would be unfair to industry.

Counsel for Plaintiff
William D. Brighton
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2000

Counsel for Defendant
Theodore L. Garrett
Covington & Burling
1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, P.O. Box 7566, Washington DC 20044
(202) 662-6000