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New York v. Ruckelshaus

ELR Citation: 14 ELR 20873
Nos. No. 84-0853, 21 ERC 1721/(D.D.C., 10/05/1984) Ruling on CAA §126 issue

The court rules that defendant violated a non-discretionary duty in failing to act on plaintiffs' Clean Air Act §126 petitions, which concern interstate air pollution from the midwest, within 60 days and failed to demonstrate that he should be allowed extra time. Defendant concedes that he has violated the terms of §126 by not ruling on plaintiffs' §126 petitions for over two years in spite of the statutory 60-day deadline. The court rejects defendant's request for approximately six months within which to rule. It notes that while it is within its equitable powers to extend statutory deadlines when it is impossible to comply, this discretion is to be exercised only in exceptional circumstances. Finding that defendant failed to justify an extension of the already long delay, the court orders him to act on the petitions within 60 days.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
David P. Wooley, Ass't Attorney General
Department of Law, Capitol, Albany NY 12224
(518) 474-4819

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Intervenors
Thomas Y. Au
Department of Environmental Resources
Executive House, Room 505, P.O. Box 2357, Harrisburg PA 17120
(717) 787-7060

Counsel for Defendant
Catherine A. Cotter
Land and Natural Reosurces Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4438

Counsel for Defendants-Intervenors
Henry V. Nickel
Hunton & Williams
P.O. Box 19230, Washington DC 20036
(202) 955-1561