Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation v. EPA, 540 U.S. 461, 22 (2004)

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Opinion of the Court

EPA had authority under 113(a)(5) and 167 to issue the contested orders, and that the Agency had properly exercised its discretion in doing so. Id., at 820-823. Concerning EPA's authority under 113(a)(5) and 167, the Court of Appeals observed first that "the question presented is what requirements the state must meet" under the Act to issue a PSD permit, not what the correct BACT might be. Id., at 821 (emphasis in original). Concluding that EPA had "authority to determine the reasonableness or adequacy of the state's justification for its decision," the Court of Appeals emphasized that the "provision of a reasoned justification" by a permitting authority is undeniably a "requirement" of the Act. Ibid. EPA had properly exercised its discretion in issuing the three orders, the Ninth Circuit ultimately determined, because (1) Cominco failed to "demonstrat[e] that SCR was economically infeasible," and (2) "ADEC failed to provide a reasoned justification for its elimination of SCR as a control option." Id., at 823. We granted certiorari, 537 U. S. 1186 (2003), to resolve an important question of federal law, i. e., the scope of EPA's authority under 113(a)(5) and 167, and now affirm the Ninth Circuit's judgment.


ADEC contested EPA's orders under 42 U. S. C. 7607 (b)(1), which renders reviewable in the appropriate federal court of appeals any EPA "final action." Before the Ninth Circuit, EPA unsuccessfully urged that its orders were "interlocutory," and therefore unreviewable in court unless and until EPA chose to commence an enforcement action.11 A

preenforcement contest could be maintained in the Court of Appeals under 7607(b)(1), the Ninth Circuit held, for in the circumstances presented, EPA's actions had the requisite finality.

11 Such an action would lie in district court, under 42 U. S. C. 7413(b).

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