Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation v. EPA, 540 U.S. 461, 23 (2004)

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Cite as: 540 U. S. 461 (2004)

Opinion of the Court

It was undisputed, the Court of Appeals observed, that EPA had spoken its " 'last word' " on whether ADEC had adequately justified its conclusion that Low NOx was the best available control technology for the MG-17 generator. 244 F. 3d, at 750. Further, EPA's orders effectively halted construction of the MG-17 generator, for Cominco would risk civil and criminal penalties if it defied a valid EPA directive.

In this Court, EPA agrees with the Ninth Circuit's finality determination. See Brief for Respondents 16-20; Tr. of Oral Arg. 43-44. We are satisfied that the Court of Appeals correctly applied the guides we set out in Bennett v. Spear, 520 U. S. 154, 177-178 (1997) (to be "final," agency action must "mark the 'consummation' of the agency's decisionmaking process," and must either determine "rights or obligations" or occasion "legal consequences" (some internal quotation marks omitted)). As the Court of Appeals stated, EPA had "asserted its final position on the factual circumstances" underpinning the Agency's orders, 244 F. 3d, at 750, and if EPA's orders survived judicial review, Cominco could not escape the practical and legal consequences (lost costs and vulnerability to penalties) of any ADEC-permitted construction Cominco endeavored, ibid.

No question has been raised here, we note, about the adequacy of EPA's preorder procedures under the Due Process Clause or the Administrative Procedure Act. Cf. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 435 U. S. 519, 544 (1978) (agencies have authority to "fashion their own rules of procedure," even when a statute does not specify what process to use). Furthermore, in response to ADEC's initial contention that the record was incomplete, the Ninth Circuit gave EPA an opportunity to supplement the record, and thereafter obtained from all parties agreement "that the record as it stood was adequate to resolve [ADEC's review petition]." 298 F. 3d, at 818.


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