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United States v. Ethyl Corp.

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20990
Nos. No. 83-0120-A, 576 F. Supp. 80/19 ERC 2138/(M.D. La., 07/01/1983)

The court rules that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Clean Air Act vinyl chloride emission regulations are unenforceable because the regulations are work practice standards promulgated before the Act gave EPA the power to make such standards. The court holds that EPA acquired the power to make work practice standards from 1977 amendments to the Act and the power to enforce such standards from 1978 amendments. The vinyl chloride regulations were promulgated in 1976 and therefore are enforceable only if they are emission standards. The regulations require zero discharges except for emergency discharges, defined as those that cannot be avoided by taking prescribed measures. The court rules that the "measures" are work practices within the meaning of §112(c) of the Act. It holds that instead of setting quantified emission limits as required for emission standards, the regulations effectively prescribe work practices to avoid discharges.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Ian F. Hipwell, Ass't U.S. Attorney
352 Florida St., 2nd Floor, Baton Rouge LA 70801
(504) 389-0443

Lloyd S. Guerci
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-5403

Counsel for Defendant
Ronald A. Seale
Seale, Smith & Phelps
Suite 200, 4041 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge LA 70809
(504) 927-9430

F. Walter Conrad Jr.
Baker & Botts
3000 One Shell Plaza, Houston TX 77002
(713) 229-1234