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Missouri v. United States

ELR Citation: 27 ELR 20908
Nos. 96-2244EM, 109 F.3d 440/(8th Cir., 03/20/1997) vacated

The court holds that a district court lacked jurisdiction over the state of Missouri's challenge to the constitutionality of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final actions arising out of EPA's designation of St. Louis as an ozone nonattainment area. Clean Air Act (CAA) §307 requires that all challenges to final EPA actions under the CAA be brought directly in the courts of appeals. There is no reason that constitutional challenges to EPA action under the CAA should lie outside the statute's explicit jurisdictional command. And the court cannot accept Missouri's argument that it sought only to challenge the constitutionality of the CAA, completely apart from EPA action. While it is true that Missouri's complaint questions the overall sanctions scheme of the CAA, this challenge is not separate from the sanctions that EPA will impose if Missouri does not remedy the deficiencies that EPA pointed out. Noting that Missouri is not time barred from refiling the case directly with the Eighth Circuit, the court vacates the district court's judgment and remands with instructions to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction.

[The district court's opinion is published at 26 ELR 21204.]

Counsel for Appellants
Joseph P. Bindbeutel, Ass't Attorney General
Attorney General's Office
Supreme Court Bldg.
207 W. High St., Jefferson City MO 65101
(573) 751-3321

Counsel for Appellees
Jeffrey P. Kehne
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

Before RICHARD S. ARNOLD, Chief Judge, BEAM, Circuit Judge, and ALSOP,* District Judge.