A federal court in Pennsylvania has dismissed Clean Air Act (CAA) enforcement actions brought by New Jersey and Connecticut against an electricity generator. New Jersey v. RRI Energy Mid-Atl. Power Holdings, LLC, No. 07-cv-05298 (E.D. Pa. 3/28/13). The states claimed that the company should have obtained permits and installed “best available control technology” under the CAA Prevention of Significant Deterioration program when it modified its plant between 1983 and 1998. According to the states, they could take advantage of the “discovery rule” under which the limitation period would not begin to run until they could reasonably have discovered the violations. Because they discovered the violations in 2003 and filed the first case in 2007, the states contended that they were timely.
Citing Gabelli v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 11-1274 (U.S. 2/27/13), the court disagreed, finding that the discovery rule did not apply to the general five-year federal statute of limitations. Accordingly, the court dismissed the claims.