Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Four Things You Need to Know About Courts’ Rejection of Clean Air Act Preemption of State Common-Law Claims

January 2016

Citation: ELR 10017

Author: Matthew Morrison and Bryan Stockton

In two decisions released in November 2015, Merrick v. Diageo Americas Supply, Inc., and Little v. Louisville Gas & Electric Co., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit unambiguously held that the Clean Air Act does not preempt state common-law claims brought against regulated sources of air emissions in the same state. Many practitioners and observers had expected courts to treat state common-law claims the way the U.S. Supreme Court dealt with federal common-law claims as being preempted by the CAA. In light of these decisions, emitting sources may want to factor in potential exposure to state common-law claims when reevaluating their compliance strategies.

Matthew Morrison is a Partner, and Bryan Stockton is an Associate, with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

You must be a News & Analysis subscriber to download the full article.

You are not logged in. To access this content: