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Jensen Family Farms, Inc. v. Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20194
Nos. No. 09-16790, (9th Cir., 05/27/2011)

The Ninth Circuit held that the CAA does not preempt a local air district's adoption and enforcement of rules regulating air emissions from diesel-powered engines. CAA §209(e) expressly prohibits states from setting "standards or other requirements relating to the control of emissions" from nonroad engines. Although two of the rules require owners and operators to register and pay fees for certain diesel engines used in agricultural operations, which are nonroad sources, the registration and fee requirements are not preempted. The rules do not involve emissions control; they require owners and operators of certain diesel engines to provide information to the district about their engines and to pay fees. The rules' plain language has nothing to do with emissions standards or the control of emissions. And while a third rule sets emissions standards for stationary diesel engines within the air district, it does not apply to any "nonroad engines" as that term is used in the CAA. Under the state rule, a stationary engine is designed to stay in one location for more than 12 months, whereas the CAA implementing regulations make clear that an engine is not a nonroad engine when it remains or will remain at a location for more than 12 months.