Luminant loses appellate court challenge over Clean Air Act

Luminant Generation Co. lost an appellate court challenge over federal supervision of the Texas state implementation plan (SIP) for the Clean Air Act.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed EPA’s decision to partially approve and partially reject the Texas SIP, essentially rejecting both environmentalist and industry challenges to EPA’s determination regarding excess emissions during startup, shutdown and malfunction/maintenance (SSM).

In its ruling, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled the EPA acted within its powers in partially rejecting the state plan for implementing the rule in Texas. According to Foley Hoag, the Court agreed with EPA’s decision to allow sources to assert an affirmative defense to an enforcement case related to excess emissions during unplanned SSM events, but to deny that defense in the case of planned SSM events. 

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