Key Air Cases

Dennis D. Hirsch, Associate Dean and Professor at Capital University Law School has, with the assistance of the Air Quality Committee of the Environmental Section of the American Bar Association, compiled a list of “key air law cases.”

Here’s the list:


Adamo Wrecking Co. v. U.S., 434 U.S. 275 (1978).

Alabama v Costle, 636 F.2d 323 (D.C. Cir 1979). “Definitely include re the PSD process. Its progeny would provide many other important decisions.”

ASARCO v EPA, 578 F.2d 319, 322 (D.C.Cir. 1978).

Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. NRDC, 467 U.S. 837 (1984)

Harrison v. PPG Industries, 446 U.S. 578 (1980)

Kentucky v. Ruckelshaus, 497 F.2d 1172 (6th Cir. 1974), aff’d sub nom. Hancock v. Train, 426 U.S. 167 (1976)

U.S. v. Narrangansett Improvement Company, 571 F. Supp. 688 (D.R.I. 1983)

National-Southwire Aluminum, Co v. EPA, 838 F. 2d, 835 (6th Cir. 1988)

Puerto Rican Cement Co. v. EPA, 889 F.2d 292 (1st Cir. 1989).

Train v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 420 U.S. 60 (1975)

Union Elec. Co. v. EPA, 427 U.S. 246 (1976). “Addresses among other issues, the extent of EPA’s authority under § 110(a) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C.A. § 7410(a) to dictate to the states what measures they should adopt in their state implementation plans or revisions thereof to achieve national ambient air quality standards.”

Wisconsin Electric Power Company v. EPA, 893 F.2d 901 (7th Cir. 1990). “Include re NSR and when maintenance constitutes modification and replacement triggering NSR.”


United States v. Alabama Power, 372 F.Supp.2d 1283 (N.D.Ala. June 3, 2005)

Alaska Dept. of Envt’l Protection v. EPA, 540 U.S. 461 (2004)

U.S. v. AM General Corporation, 34 F.3d 472 (7th Cir. 1994)

American Corn Growers Ass’n v. EPA, 291 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir 2002) “Include re EPA’s Regional Haze Rule and determination of Best Available Retrofit Technology (”BART”) for certain old large stationary pollution sources.”

Whitman v. American Trucking, 531 U.S. 457 (2001). “Clearly a huge case no matter how you view it. It goes to the heart of EPA’s attempts to discharge their duty to revise the NAAQS, and is illustrative of how complex the system of regulating air emissions has become, with Congress going so far as to set control regimes by statute. To me, American Trucking is the most important FCAA case to come along in many, many years.”

Appalachian Power v. EPA, 208 F.3d 1015 (2000) (Periodic Monitoring Decision)

United States v. Duke Energy, 278 F.Supp.2d 619 (M.D.N.C. 2003)

United States v. Duke Energy, 411 F.3d 539 (4th Cir. 2005)

U.S. v. Ohio Edison, 276 F.Supp.2d 829 (S.D. Ohio 2003).

National Mining Assoc. v EPA, 59 F.3d 1351 (D.C. Cir. 1995) (1995 MACT decision on “major source”)

State of New York v. EPA, 413 F.3d 3 (D.C. Cir. 2005)

United States v. Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Co., 245 F. Supp.2d 994 (S.D. Ind. 2003).

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) v. Whitman, 336 F.3d 1236 (11th Cir. 2003). “Include re effect of EPA administrative compliance orders under the CAA; addresses interesting constitutional issues relating to lack of statutory allowance for judicial review.”

About James Pray

Attorney with BrownWinick Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa.
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