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Sierra Club v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20162
Nos. 18-9507, (10th Cir., 07/02/2020)

The Tenth Circuit held that EPA erred in denying an environmental group's petition to review the renewal of a state-issued Title V operating permit for a coal-fired power plant in Utah. The group's petition argued that EPA should object to the renewal because it failed to "assure compliance" with all "applicable requirements" of the CAA, namely the requirement for major new source review (NSR) in the state's implementation plan. EPA denied the petition, finding that any major NSR requirements were not considered applicable requirements. The groups sought review of EPA's decision, and the court concluded that EPA's interpretation of "applicable requirements"—that the applicability of certain requirements was determined by the state permit issued under a separate part of the CAA—conflicted with the regulatory definition, which unambiguously included all requirements in a state's implementation plan. It therefore ordered EPA to reconsider the group's petition.