9th Circ. Gives Growers Relief In Preserving Exemption

Law360, New York (July 1, 2015, 12:38 PM EDT) -- In what has been a trying year for agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley, the Ninth Circuit handed growers a small reprieve. A conflicting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved state implementation plan and California rules on new source reviews (“NSR”), threatened a long-standing exemption for certain pre-2004 agricultural sources. The EPA realized the conflict and conformed its approval to California’s statute, but a challenge to the correction questioned the agency's authority to do so. If successful, the challenge posed significant air compliance issues for long-exempt agricultural interests and potentially threw into question the stature of state law in Clean Air Act regulations...

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