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Roosevelt Campobello Int'l Park Comm'n v. EPA

Citation: 12 ELR 20911
No. Nos. 78-1484 et al., 684 F.2d 1034/17 ERC 2017/(1st Cir., 08/10/1982)

The court dismisses challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) grant of conditional extensions to a prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit for a proposed oil refinery. EPA had granted the applicant a PSD permit under 1975 Clean Air Act regulations and later granted an extension of the grandfathering period for that permit because EPA had extended the public comment period. As a result of this extension, the applicant did not have to apply for a more stringent permit under the 1978 regulations. EPA then granted a conditional extension because EPA found good cause why the applicant could not begin construction within 18 months of the issuance of the permit as required by regulations of unused PSD permits. The court rejects petitioner's challenges to EPA's extensions of the permit because it finds that, contrary to petitioner's allegations, the extensions have no bearing on the applicability of the 1975 PSD rules or the 1978 rules implementing the statutory PSD program enacted in 1977 and did not give applicant the right to build. Rather, the effect of the extensions is simply to avoid application of the automatic expiration rule. The court also rules that the substantive challenge to EPA's grant of the 1975 rules permit is not ripe. The applicant may still be required to apply for a 1978 rules permit if EPA does not amend the rule requiring construction to begin prior to a specific deadline. In addition, the withholding of judicial review does not work any hardship on the parties because the 1975 rules PSD permit does not grant any rights to build at this time.

Counsel are listed at 12 ELR 20903.

Before Coffin, Bownes, and Breyer, JJ.