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Clean Air Council v. United States Steel Corp.

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20116
Nos. 20-2215, (3d Cir., 06/21/2021)

The Third Circuit affirmed dismissal of a lawsuit concerning reporting requirements for emissions following fires at a steel facility near Pittsburgh. An environmental group argued the facility operator should have reported the emissions to the federal government pursuant to CERCLA in addition to reporting them to local officials as required by its CAA permits, arguing the emissions were not "federally permitted releases" under CERCLA and not "subject to" the CAA permits because they violated the permits. The district court held the emissions were federally permitted releases because they were governed by, and thus subject to, the CAA permits, so the company was not required to report them to the federal government. The appellate court agreed, finding that because the company's emissions were governed by CAA permits, they were also federally permitted under CERCLA and thus exempt from federal reporting. It therefore affirmed dismissal of the suit.