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California Dump Truck Owners Ass'n v. Nichols

ELR Citation: 45 ELR 20045
Nos. 13-15175, (9th Cir.., 03/02/2015)

The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a trucking association's federal preemption challenge to a California environmental regulation on diesel trucks. The regulation requires heavy-duty diesel trucks, whose emissions contribute significantly to particulate matter and ozone pollution, to be upgraded with pollution filters and lower-emission engines. The association sought to enjoin the rule, arguing that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act, which prohibits states from enacting regulations "related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier . . . with respect to the transportation of property," preempted the regulation. But the district court dismissed the case because CAA §307(b)(1) vests federal circuit courts of appeals with exclusive jurisdiction over petitions challenging EPA's approval of a SIP. Because the association as a practical matter is challenging the SIP itself, and because the court of appeals has exclusive jurisdiction over such challenges, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.