Case Law Index: Clean Air Act

June 25, 1976 – July 29, 2021

This index provides a comprehensive though not necessarily exhaustive compilation of reported and unreported federal and state court decisions involving the Clean Air Act that were decided between the dates listed above.  The cases are listed in reverse chronological order. The “Text” link goes to the freely available Google Scholar text of the opinion.  These listings are for educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for legal counsel.


HollyFrontier Cheyenne Ref., LLC v. Renewable Fuels Ass’n, — S.Ct. – (2021) (Small refineries may seek exemption from Clean Air Act renewable fuel program) Text

E.P.A. v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P., 134 S.Ct. 1584 (2014) (EPA’s right to set state guidelines). Text

Util. Air Regulatory Grp. V. E.P.A., 134 S.Ct. 2427 (2014) (EPA’s authority to regulate stationary sources under CAA). Text

Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007) (Upholding that gases that cause global warming are considered pollutants under the Clean Air Act). Text

Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corporation, 549 U.S. 561 (2007) (industrial smokestacks and power plants must meet today’s cost-effective pollution control standards when facilities are updated. Text

Alaska Dep’t of Envtl. Conservation v. E.P.A., 540 U.S. 461 (2004) (Stop orders under CAA). Text

Whitman v. Am. Trucking Associations, 531 U.S. 457 (2001) (Considerations for setting NAAQS).Union Elec. Co. v. E.P.A., 427 U.S. 246 (1976) (EPA approval of SIPs). Text

Chevron USA v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 US 837 (1984) (Allocation of deference given to agency decisions). Text

Ruckelshaus v. Sierra Club, 463 U.S. 680 (1983) (allows for the allocation of attorney’s fees under the Clean Air Act.) Text

Union Electric Co. v. EPA, 427 U.S. 246 (1976) (states have 30 days to change or update their SIPs if new information is discovered after implementation). Text


City of New York v. Chevron Corp., 993 F.3d 81 (2d Cir. 2021) (Clean Air Act regulates only domestic emissions) Text


Ergo-W. Virginia, Inc. v. United States Env’t Prot. Agency, 980 F.3d 403 (4th Cir. 2020) (EPA decision to deny small oil refinery exemption from renewable fuel requirement was arbitrary and capricious) Text


State v. U.S. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 983 F.3d 826 (5th Cir. 2020) (EPA not required to consider modeling data when designating one county as nonattainment zone) Text

Texas v. U.S. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 829 F.3d 405 (5th Cir. 2016) (Plaintiffs entitled to stay of final EPA rule controlling regional haze.) Text


Merrick v. Diago Americas Supply, Inc., 805 F.3d 685 (6th Cir. 2015) (CAA did not preempt property owner’s state common law claims) Text


Voight v. Coyote Creek Mining Company, LLC, No. 18-2705 (8th Cir. June 1, 2021) (Clean Air Act regulations did not cover coal pile) Text

POET Biorefining – Hudson, LLC v. U.S. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 971 F.3d 802 (8th Cir. 2020) (Controversy regarding alleged denial of Renewable Fuel Standards application was moot) Text


In re Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, 959 F.3d 1201 (9th Cir. 2020) (CAA did not preempt local county rules) Text

In re Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, 264 F.Supp.3d 1040 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 31, 2017) (State claims were barred by the CAA.)

Helping Hands Tools v. U.S. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 848 F.3d 1185 (9th Cir. 2016) (EPA did not abuse discretion in not considering certain technologies for biomass-burning plant.) Text

Bahr v. U.S. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 836 F.3d 1218 (9th Cir. 2016) (EPA’s approval of SIP was contrary to CAA) Text

Ass’n of Irritated Residents v. U.S. E.P.A., 790 F.3d 934 (9th Cir., 2015) (EPA’s retroactive amendment of new source review rules was not arbitrary and capricious) Text

Sierra Club v. E.P.A., 671 F.3d 955 (9th Cir. 2012) (EPA’s approval of SIP without consideration of available updated emission data was arbitrary and capricious). Text

Jensen Family Farms, Inc. v. Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control Dist., 644 F.3d 934 (9th Cir. 2011) (Upholding that local district regulatory scheme requiring owners and operators of diesel-powered engines used in agriculture to pay fees was not preempted by the CAA). Text

Latino Issues Forum v. E.P.A., 558 F.3d 936 (9th Cir. 2009) (Discussing best available control measures for non-attainable regions under the CAA). Text

Safe Air for Everyone v. E.P.A., 488 F.3d 1088 (9th Cir. 2007) (Discussing SIP plans and federal law as it relates to agricultural burning). Text

Idaho Conservation League v. Boer, 362 F.Supp.2d 1211 (D.Id. 2004) (Holding that dairy was a stationary source and by-products are regulated air pollutants under the CAA). Text

Vigil v. Leavitt, 381 F.3d 826 (9th Cir. 2004) (Discussing Arizona’s rule regulating agricultural emissions of particulate matter). Text

California Farm Bureau Fed’n v. E.P.A., 72 Fed. Appx. 540 (9th Cir. 2003) (Upholding EPA’s decision to revoke approval of permit plans under the CAA that exempted major agricultural sources from complying).

Ober v. Whitman, 243 F.3d 1190 (9th Cir. 2001) (Permitting the EPA to exempt de minimis emission sources from the CAA). Text


Sierra Club v. Atlanta Reg’l Comm’n, 255 F.Supp.2d 1319 (N.D.Ga. 2002) (Discussing standing to bring suit for enforcement under the CAA and review of procedures for complying with the CAA under SIP). Text


Growth Energy v. Envtl. Prot. Agency, No. 19-1023 (D.C. Cir. July 16, 2021) (Concerning implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standards program)

Am. Lung Ass’n v. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 985 F.3d 914 (D. D.C. 2021) (Affordable Clean Energy rule misinterpreted the CAA.) Text

POET Biorefining, LLC v. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 970 F.3d 392 (D.C. Cir. 2020) (EPA guidance aided peer review under Renewable Fuel Standard program) Text

Am. Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers v. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 937 F.3d 559 (D.C. Cir. 2019) (EPA could take cost considerations into account in deciding to exercise its full cellulosic waiver authority) Text

Nat’l Biodiesel Bd. v. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 843 F.3d 1010 (D.C. Cir. 2016) (EPA approval of biofuel producer’s compliance plan for the RFS program was not a rulemaking) Text

Westar Energy, Inc. v. EPA, 608 Fed. Appx. 1 (D.C. Cir. 2015). (Under Clean Air Acts good neighbor policy, the EPA does not have to provide specifics metrics to States for emissions). Text

National Ass’n of Clean Air Agenices v. EPA, 489 F. 3d 1221 (D.C. Cir. 2007) (petition denied for court to hear case concerning EPA interpretation of its own regulation). Text

Engine Mfrs. Ass’n v. E.P.A., 88 F.3d 1075 (D.C. Cir. 1996). (Discussing state regulations of large non-road engines). Text

Ethyl Corp. v. EPA, 541 F. 2d 1 (D.C. Cir. 1976) (EPA has the right under the CAA to regulate lead emissions levels.) Text


Defend Colorado v. Polis, 2021 COA 8, 482 P.3d 531 (Air Quality Commission not required under Clean Air Act to oversee reporting of data to EPA) Text


Freeman v. Grain Processing Corp., 848 N.W.2d 58 (Iowa 2014) (Dealing with the interplay of the CAA and state preemption laws in the context of emissions from wet corn milling facility). Text


United States v. Cinergy Court, 582 F. Supp. 2d 105 (S.D. In., 2008). (Upholds courts jurisdiction under the Clean Air Act on equity jurisdiction). Text


Friends of Agric. For Reform of Missouri Envtl. Regulations v. Zimmerman, 51 S.W.3d 64 (Mo. Ct. App. 2001) (State had authority to regulate odor emissions from feed lots under the CAA). Text