Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation v. EPA, 540 U.S. 461, 33 (2004)

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

Opinion of the Court

struction. See supra, at 485-488. That rational interpretation, we agree, is surely permissible.16

Nor are we persuaded by ADEC's practical concerns. We see no reason to conclude that an appropriate record generally cannot be developed to allow informed federal-court review when EPA disputes a BACT decision's reasonableness. ADEC contends that, in this very case, "the State's BACT determination was reviewed by the Ninth Circuit on an incomplete record." Brief for Petitioner 37. ADEC, however, offers no particulars to back up its assertion that the Court of Appeals proceeded on an inadequate evidentiary record. We note again that the Ninth Circuit ordered EPA to submit a complete administrative record. 298 F. 3d, at 818. After the Agency declared that the record was complete, "all the parties effectively agreed that the record as it stood was adequate to resolve the issues on appeal." Ibid.

As to the burdens of production and persuasion, nothing in the Act suggests that EPA gains a proof-related tactical advantage by issuing a stop-construction order instead of seeking relief through a civil action. But cf. post, at 510 (EPA authority to issue stop-construction orders creates "the anomaly of shifting the burden of pleading and of initiating litigation from EPA to the State"). Correspondingly, nothing in our decision today invites or permits EPA to achieve an unfair advantage through its choice of litigation forum. In granting EPA a choice between initiating a civil action and exercising its stop-construction-order authority, see supra, at 473-474, 492, n. 15, Congress nowhere suggested that the allocation of proof burdens would differ depending upon which enforcement route EPA selected. The

16 Experience, we have already noted, see supra, at 490, n. 14, affords no grounding for the dissent's predictions that EPA oversight, which is undeniably subject to federal-court review, will "rewor[k] . . . the balance between State and Federal Governments" and threaten state courts' independence. Post, at 511-512.


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