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Murray Energy Corp. v. EPA

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20085
Nos. 16-2432, 17-1093 & 17-1170, (4th Cir., 06/29/2017)

The Fourth Circuit held that it does not have jurisdiction to determine whether EPA violated the CAA when the agency failed to conduct continuing evaluations of potential loss or shifts of employment before implementing regulations. In 2014, several coal companies brought suit against EPA, alleging it failed to conduct evaluations of potential loss of jobs resulting from the implementation of certain regulations outlined in Section 321(a) of the CAA, and seeking to prohibit EPA from engaging in certain regulatory activities until it had conducted such evaluations. EPA argued that the evaluations are discretionary and that the coal companies lacked standing to challenge the noncompliance. The court held that Section 321(a) imposes a broad, open-ended statutory mandate and requires the agency's judgment. Most importantly, the evaluations are not confined to a discrete time period. Ultimately, the court decided that it lacked jurisdiction and the case was remanded to the district court.