5th Circ. Says EPA Can Limit Defenses For Some Polluters

Law360, New York (July 31, 2012, 3:43 PM EDT) -- The Fifth Circuit on Monday shot down protests from environmental and industry groups over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s limits in holding Texas facilities responsible for emissions that violate state and federal air quality standards.

A three-judge appeals panel said the EPA, in approving Texas’ proposal to meet federal air quality standards in January 2011, was within its authority to allow facility owners an affirmative defense against civil penalties for excess emissions during unplanned startups, shutdowns, and maintenance or malfunctions, or SSM.

The agency did not,...
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