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Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future v. Wheeler

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20158
Nos. 19-cv-02004-VC, (N.D. Cal., 06/26/2020) (Chhabria, J.)

A district court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction a suit concerning EPA's CAA obligations to regulate pollution from coke ovens. Environmental groups argued the CAA required EPA to perform a risk assessment every time it revised its technology-based standards for a hazardous pollution source, and thus that the Agency violated the Act by failing to perform a second risk assessment for the source category of coke oven batteries after it revised standards for the category during its 2005 technology review. EPA argued the risk assessment was a one-time obligation performed within eight years of the date the initial technology-based standards were established for a given source category, and that a follow-up assessment was not required for coke oven batteries. The court found the CAA did not clearly speak to whether repeated risk assessments were mandatory or discretionary, and thus held that it could not interpret the Act as imposing a mandatory duty on EPA to revisit its risk-based standards for hazardous pollution sources. It therefore dismissed the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.