Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation v. EPA, 540 U.S. 461, 28 (2004)

Page:   Index   Previous  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  Next



Opinion of the Court

such as those in . . . policy statements, agency manuals, and enforcement guidelines, all of which lack the force of law— do not warrant Chevron-style deference."); accord United States v. Mead Corp., 533 U. S. 218, 234 (2001). Cogent "administrative interpretations . . . not [the] products of formal rulemaking . . . nevertheless warrant respect." Washington State Dept. of Social and Health Servs. v. Guardianship Estate of Keffeler, 537 U. S. 371, 385 (2003). We accord EPA's reading of the relevant statutory provisions, 7413(a)(5), 7470(3), 7470(4), 7475(a)(4), 7477, and 7479(3), that measure of respect.


ADEC assails the Agency's construction of the Act on several grounds. Its arguments do not persuade us to reject as impermissible EPA's longstanding, consistently maintained interpretation.

ADEC argues that the statutory definition of BACT, 7479(3), unambiguously assigns to "the permitting authority" alone determination of the control technology qualifying as "best available." Brief for Petitioner 21-26. Because the Act places responsibility for determining BACT with "the permitting authority," ADEC urges, CAA excludes federal Agency surveillance reaching the substance of the BACT decision. Id., at 22-25. EPA's enforcement role, ADEC maintains, is restricted to the requirement "that the permit contain a BACT limitation." Id., at 34.

Understandably, Congress entrusted state permitting authorities with initial responsibility to make BACT determinations "case-by-case." 7479(3). A state agency, no doubt, is best positioned to adjust for local differences in raw materials or plant configurations, differences that might make a technology "unavailable" in a particular area. But the fact that the relevant statutory guides—"maximum" pollution reduction, considerations of energy, environmental, and economic impacts—may not yield a "single, objectively 'correct' BACT determination," id., at 23, surely does not

Page:   Index   Previous  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007