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Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20215
Nos. 12-60482, (5th Cir., 09/13/2013)

The Fifth Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to review petitions challenging EPA's objection to three CAA Title V permits issued by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for a proposed ironmaking facility. The state agency issued three separate Title V permits for the facility, and a neighboring grain exporter petitioned EPA to object to the permits. When EPA failed to grant or deny the petition within 60 days, the grain exporter filed suit seeking to compel EPA to take action. In settlement of that suit, EPA agreed to take action by March 16, 2012. EPA ultimately issued objections to each of the three permits on March 26, 2012. The state agency then petitioned the court to vacate EPA's objections and to issue a declaratory ruling that the objections were improper. But because EPA has not taken final action to issue or deny the permits, CAA §505(c) bars judicial review. EPA's failure to object during the 60-day window for granting or denying a petition does not impact §505(c)'s limitation on judicial review.