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The 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C.S. § 7412(b)(1)-(3), establish an initial list, which Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may periodically revise, of 189 hazardous air pollutants. EPA must publish a list of categories and subcategories of major sources and certain area sources that emit these pollutants. 42 U.S.C.S. § 7412(c) For each listed category or subcategory of major sources and area sources of hazardous air pollutants, the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C.S. § 7412(d)(1), directs EPA to promulgate emission standards.
This is a petition for review of an order of the Environmental Protection Agency implementing the 1990 amendments to § 112 of the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act (Act) established a list of hazardous air pollutants, a list of categories of major sources that emit the pollutants, and for each the Act directed the EPA to promulgate emission standards. The private industries challenged the EPA's definition of "major source."
Was the EPA's definition of "major source" erroneous?
The court held that the EPA's definition of "major source" was faithful to the language of the Act. The court held that the Act simply required the listing of all major sources and those area sources presenting adverse health or environmental effects. The court held that the EPA could require the inclusion of fugitive emissions in a site's aggregate emissions without conducting any special rulemaking, even if "major source" and "major stationary source" meant the same thing. Therefore, the court denied the petition for review as to those issues. The court granted the petition for review with respect to the challenge that the EPA imposed federal requirements in pursuit of objectives unrelated to the effectiveness of controls imposed by the local level. The EPA had not shown why a locality's controls, when effective, should not be credited in determining whether a source was a major source.