U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

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Sixth Circuit holds that state law public nuisance claims are not preempted by the Clean Air Act

November 02, 2015

The Sixth Circuit held that state law public nuisance claims are not preempted by the Clean Air Act, based on the Act’s “structure and history, together with relevant Supreme Court precedents.”

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

December 03, 2014

In the coalition brief, the Chamber asked the Sixth Circuit to reverse the judgment of the district court and hold that the Clean Air Act preempts state common law nuisance claims. The brief argues that the decision of the district court in this case fundamentally undermines the regulatory process, pursuant to the Clean Air Act, which provides all stakeholders a voice, also allows businesses to plan investments and anticipate costs. The district court’s holding allows courts to create and enforce as a matter of state common law, restrictions on emissions of air pollutants that differ from those adopted pursuant to the Act by expert agencies. The brief goes on to assert that if allowed to stand, it will encourage litigants to use nearly limitless range of liability theories available under state common law to try to impose their own preferred emissions restrictions on enterprises and businesses.

The Chamber filed the brief jointly with the National Manufacturers Association and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers.

Peter D. Keisler, Roger Martella, and Quinn M. Sorenson of Sidley Austin LLP represented the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as co-counsel to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center in this case.

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