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Sierra Club v. Wellington Dev.-WVDT Ltd. Liab. Co.

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20124
Nos. No. 08-293, (W.D. Pa., 05/13/2008)

A district court dismissed environmental groups' Clean Air Act citizen suit challenging the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Nemacolin, Pennsylvania. The court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the groups' claims. The groups argued that the defendant company does not have a valid prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) or new source review (NSR) permit to construct the plant because it did not commence construction within 18 months of receiving plan approval. These claims are nothing more than a collateral attack on the state environmental agency's conclusion that construction was timely commenced. The company produced a letter from the agency confirming that construction was commenced within the time frame required by the plan approval. Moreover, the agency has modified the permit as recently as February 2008, which indicates that the agency regards the permit as valid. The court also dismissed claims that the company violated a condition of its plan approval as well as the PSD and NSR provisions of the Pennsylvania state implementation plan by failing to meet certain construction schedule deadlines.