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Dalton Trucking, Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20001
Nos. 13-1283, (D.C. Cir., 12/18/2015)

The D.C. Circuit dismissed petitions challenging EPA's authorization of California regulations intended to reduce emissions of particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen from in-use nonroad diesel engines, ruling that venue was improper. A trucking company filed a petition for review of EPA's nonroad waiver decision in both the D.C. Circuit court and the Ninth Circuit; a transportation association filed a petition with the D.C. Circuit and was granted leave by the Ninth Circuit to intervene on the company's behalf in the action before that court. Both petitioners argued that in authorizing California's nonroad fleet requirements, EPA misapplied the statutory requirements of CAA §209(e) and that EPA's decision was arbitrary and capricious or otherwise not in accordance with law. EPA filed a motion to have the case before the Ninth Circuit dismissed or transferred to the D.C. Circuit. Under CAA §307(b)(1), however, venue over this case lies exclusively with the D.C. Circuit only if: (1) the final action taken by EPA is “nationally applicable”; or (2) EPA found that its final action was based on a determination of "nationwide scope or effect" and it published this finding. But here, the record demonstrates that EPA's nonroad waiver decision is not nationally applicable. In addition, EPA neither found that its decision was based on a determination of nationwide scope or effect nor published such a finding. Because EPA's decision fails to satisfy either of the statutory avenues for filing in the D.C. Circuit, venue is not proper and the petitions were dismissed.