Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation v. EPA, 540 U.S. 461, 34 (2004)

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494

ALASKA DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION v. EPA

Opinion of the Court

point ought not to be left in doubt. Accordingly, we hold that in either an EPA-initiated civil action or a challenge to an EPA stop-construction order filed in state or federal court, the production and persuasion burdens remain with EPA and the underlying question a reviewing court resolves remains the same: Whether the state agency's BACT determination was reasonable, in light of the statutory guides and the state administrative record. See supra, at 485-486, 491.17

The Ninth Circuit's review of EPA's order is in keeping with our holding that EPA may not reduce the burden it must carry by electing to invoke its stop-construction-order authority. Specifically, the Court of Appeals rested its judgment on what EPA showed from ADEC's own report: "(1) Cominco failed to meet its burden of demonstrating [to ADEC] that SCR was economically infeasible; and (2) ADEC failed to provide a reasoned justification for its elimination of SCR as a control option." 298 F. 3d, at 823. EPA's conclusions, and the basis for them, support the Court of Appeals' determination that the federal Agency's grounds for issuing the orders under review were not "arbitrar[y] and capriciou[s]." Ibid. Our own analysis, infra, at 497-502, similarly hinges on the question whether ADEC's BACT determination was a reasonable one. Our analysis would have

17 "[L]ooking for the burden of pleading is not a foolproof guide to the allocation of the burdens of proof. The latter burdens do not invariably follow the pleadings." 2 J. Strong, McCormick on Evidence 337, pp. 411-412 (5th ed. 1999). No "single principle or rule . . . solve[s] all cases and afford[s] a general test for ascertaining the incidence" of proof burdens. 9 J. Wigmore, Evidence 2486, p. 288 (J. Chadbourn rev. ed. 1981) (emphasis deleted). "[I]n a case of first impression," which we address today, "reference to which party has pleaded a fact is no help at all." 2 McCormick, supra, 337, at 412. Among other considerations, allocations of burdens of production and persuasion may depend on which party—plaintiff or defendant, petitioner or respondent—has made the "affirmative allegation" or "presumably has peculiar means of knowledge." 9 Wigmore, supra, 2486, at 288, 290 (emphases deleted); accord Campbell v. United States, 365 U. S. 85, 96 (1961).

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