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Section 307(b)(1) of the 1970 amendments to the Clean Air Act allows petitions for review to be filed in an appropriate court of appeals more than 30 days after the Administrator of EPA's approval of an implementation plan only if the petition is based solely on grounds arising after such 30th day.
Petitioner, an electric utility company serving large portions of Missouri, filed a petition, in the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, for review of the approval, by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, of the Missouri plan implementing the national ambient air quality standards prescribed by 110(a)(2) of the Clean Air Act, as added by 1970 amendments (42 USCS 1857c-5(a)(2)). The petition was filed more than 30 days after the Administrator's approval, under 307(b)(1) of the Act (42 USCS 1857h-5(b)(1)), which authorized such filing only if the petition was "based solely on grounds arising after such 30th day." Insofar as the petitioner's claim of newly discovered or available information was grounded on an assertion of economic and technological infeasibility, the Court of Appeals held itself to be without jurisdiction to consider the petition and dismissed it. The utility company sought review of the decision.
Did the Court of Appeals have jurisdiction to consider the petition filed by the electric utility company more than 30 days after the EPA’s approval of the plan in question?
The Court affirmed the Court of Appeals' decision. The Court held that a claim of economic or technological infeasibility could not be considered in a petition for review filed more than 30 days after approval of the plan. Any new grounds must have been such that if they were known at the time the plan was presented to the administrator for approval, it would have been abuse of discretion for the administrator to so approve. The Court also held that states were free to impose stricter controls than the national standards.