Where is Compliance with Your Air Permit Considered Tortious Conduct? In the Third Circuit.

By Michael L. Krancer, Margaret Anne Hill and Louis Abrams

Comply with your air permit and be sued anyway.  That is what the Third Circuit has just held in Kristie Bell et al. v. Cheswick Generating Station et al., No.12-4216 (3d Cir. Aug. 20, 2013).

My colleague Peg Hill, partner and environmental litigation practice group leader at Blank Rome, and I have spent time discussing the court’s decision yesterday that, in brief, determined that the federal Clean Air Act does not preempt state common law property damage tort claims—even where the facility is in compliance with its air permit!

The importance of this breathtaking decision to permitted entities cannot be overstated.  A clear message has been delivered: the federal Clean Air Act and state Clean Air Acts are no longer in complete control of determining compliance with air emissions.

Peg and I have to ask ourselves, and our readers, whether this decision creates the Clean Air Act-version of “no good deed goes unpunished.”  The floodgates of air litigation are now open in the Third Circuit—even against the good guys.

For further details, please click here to read our just-released alert, “Where is Compliance with Your Air Permit Considered Tortious Conduct? In the Third Circuit.”

This entry was posted in Air Regulation, Court Cases, Legal, Legislative and Regulatory, Policy, Shale Gas by Mike Krancer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mike Krancer

Mike Krancer is an experienced and well known policy and substantive thought leader in energy development and deployment. He is a valued advisor to U.S. and global energy companies of all types regarding the full range of legal, public policy, government relations, state and federal regulatory, financial, corporate, and labor matters with his 20+ years of energy industry and public policy experience at the highest corporate and policy-making levels.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s