Law School Case Brief
Lead Indus. Ass'n v. EPA - 208 U.S. App. D.C. 1, 647 F.2d 1130 (1980)
The appellate court must uphold the EPA Administrator's actions unless the court finds that they were: (1) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law; (2) contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege, or immunity; or (3) in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right. Section 307(d)(9) (42 U.S.C.S. § 7607(d)(9)) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C.S. § 7401 et seq. Also, the appellate court may set aside any action found to be without observance of procedure required by law, if (i) the failure to follow the prescribed procedure was arbitrary or capricious, (ii) the procedural objection was raised during the public comment period, or there were good reasons why it was not, and (iii) the procedural errors were so serious and related to matters of such central relevance to the rule that there is a substantial likelihood that the rule would have been significantly changed if such errors had not been made. Section 307(d)(8), 42 U.S.C.S. § 7607(d)(8).
The EPA issued regulations that promulgated national primary and secondary ambient air quality standards for lead pursuant to the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C.S. §§ 7401 et seq. The association asserted that the EPA administrator had exceeded his authority under the Act in promulgating the lead standards, that key elements of the EPA's analysis were arbitrary and capricious, and that there were procedural shortcomings in the lead standards. The association also filed a motion for leave to supplement the index to the administrative record that the association asserted bore directly on questions of rationality and fairness of the EPA's decision-making process and procedures.
Did the EPA administrator exceed his authority under the Act in promulgating the lead standards?
The appellate court held that the EPA complied with the substantive and procedural requirements of the Act in the rulemaking proceeding and that the EPA's decisions were adequately explained and amply supported by evidence in the record. The court held that nothing in the Act indicated that a party or the EPA could reopen the record to place additional materials other than those required by the Act or that were wrongfully omitted, but certain records that concerned conflict of interest allegations were properly before the court.
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