Environmental Protection Authority not empowered to tailor the Clean Air Act

Supreme Court of United States:  Dealing with a case relating to the issue that whether it was permissible for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine that its motor-vehicle greenhouse-gas Regulations automatically triggered  the Clean Air Act   permitting requirements for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases , the Court held that EPA’s interpretation of the ‘ Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting requirement’ as applying to “any regulated air pollutant” was “compelled by the statute” was erroneous as EPA was mistaken in thinking the Act compelled a greenhouse-gas-inclusive interpreta­tion of the PSD and Title V triggers. Stating the reasons for coming to this conclusion, the Court held that such interpretation would not only place plainly excessive demands on limited governmental resources but would also bring about an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization. The Court was of the opinion that recognizing the authority claimed by EPA in the Tailoring Rule would result into a severe blow to the Constitution’s separation of powers as it is for the legislature to make laws and for the President, acting at times through agencies like EPA, to execute them.

In the present case, EPA, in the Tailoring Rule, asserted a new found authority to regulate millions of small sources, including retail stores, offices, apartment buildings, shopping centers, schools, and churches, and to decide, on an ongoing basis and without regard for the thresholds prescribed by Legislature, how many of those sources to regulate. Considering the core administrative-law principle that an agency may not rewrite clear statutory terms to suit its own sense of how the statute should operate, the Court held that EPA lacked authority to “tailor” the Act’s unambiguous numerical thresholds to accommodate its greenhouse-gas-inclusive interpretation of the permitting triggers. Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 12–1248, decided on June 23, 2014 

To read the full judgment, refer to SCCOnLine

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Environmental Protection Authority not empowered to tailor the Clean Air Act

Supreme Court of United States:  Dealing with a case relating to the issue that whether it was permissible for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine that its motor-vehicle greenhouse-gas Regulations automatically triggered  the Clean Air Act   permitting requirements for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases , the Court held that EPA’s interpretation of the ‘ Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting requirement’ as applying to “any regulated air pollutant” was “compelled by the statute” was erroneous as EPA was mistaken in thinking the Act compelled a greenhouse-gas-inclusive interpreta­tion of the PSD and Title V triggers. Stating the reasons for coming to this conclusion, the Court held that such interpretation would not only place plainly excessive demands on limited governmental resources but would also bring about an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization. The Court was of the opinion that recognizing the authority claimed by EPA in the Tailoring Rule would result into a severe blow to the Constitution’s separation of powers as it is for the legislature to make laws and for the President, acting at times through agencies like EPA, to execute them.

In the present case, EPA, in the Tailoring Rule, asserted a new found authority to regulate millions of small sources, including retail stores, offices, apartment buildings, shopping centers, schools, and churches, and to decide, on an ongoing basis and without regard for the thresholds prescribed by Legislature, how many of those sources to regulate. Considering the core administrative-law principle that an agency may not rewrite clear statutory terms to suit its own sense of how the statute should operate, the Court held that EPA lacked authority to “tailor” the Act’s unambiguous numerical thresholds to accommodate its greenhouse-gas-inclusive interpretation of the permitting triggers. Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 12–1248, decided on June 23, 2014 

To read the full judgment, refer to SCCOnLine

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