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National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc. v. EPA

ELR Citation: 20 ELR 20922
Nos. No. 89-1289, 907 F.2d 177/31 ERC 1521/(D.C. Cir., 06/26/1990)

The court holds that the portion of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) gasoline volatility regulations concerning affirmative defenses to presumptive liability for tank-truck carriers are arbitrary and capricious. The court upholds the Volatility Regulations for Gasoline and Alcohol Blends Sold in Calendar Years 1989 and Beyond, promulgated pursuant to §211(c)(1) of the Clean Air Act, with the exception of the affirmative defense requirement that carriers be able to produce documentation from the shippers attesting to the lawfulness of each shipment even though the regulations do not impose a corresponding obligation on shippers that they provide the carriers with such documentation. The court first holds that the volatility regulations do not impermissibly impose vicarious liability on carriers. With regard to the affirmative defense, the court finds that the carriers properly raised the issue in the administrative proceedings and that EPA's rationale does not meet any standard of reasoned decisionmaking.

Counsel for Petitioner
Gary Letcher, Timothy L. Harker
2021 K St. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 223-9880

Counsel for Respondents
David J. Kaplan, Eileen T. McDonough
Land and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 786-3017, -4785

Michael S. Winer, Robert J. Martineau Jr., E. Donald Elliott, Alan W. Eckert
Environmental Protection Agency
401 M St. SW, Washington DC 20460
(202) 475-8064

Before SILBERMAN, WILLIAMS, and SENTELLE, Circuit Judges.