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Sierra Club v. Morgan

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20291
Nos. No. 07-C-251-S, (W.D. Wis., 11/07/2007)

A district court granted partial summary judgment in support of an environmental group's claim that a university’s coal-fired power plant was subject to the prevention of significant deterioration requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and was therefore required to obtain a preconstruction permit under 42 U.S.C. §7475(a) for three of its upgrade projects. State officials, including the president of the university system, may be defined as operators under the CAA if they demonstrate significant and substantial control over the stationary source. Such operators are responsible for obtaining preconstruction permits and employing best available control technology for facility upgrades that do not fall within the routine maintenance, repair and replacement exemption where such modifications are made infrequently, e.g., every 24 years or longer, are not covered by the annual operations and maintenance budget, and where applying the "actual to potential" test determines that such plant modifications would produce a significant increase in net emissions.