Southern Alliance for Clean En v. Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, No. 08-2370 (4th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed a complaint against defendant alleging that defendant was violating the Clean Air Act ("Act") by constructing a coal-fired power plant without a determination that the power plant would achieve a level of air pollution control that satisfied the Act's Maximum Achievable Control Technology provisions. At issue was whether the district court erred in awarding attorneys' fees to plaintiffs based on the merits of an order that granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs. The court held that attorneys' fees were properly awarded based on plaintiffs' success in the litigation where defendant was subject to state administrative proceedings as a consequence of plaintiffs' suit. The court also held that defendant's merits argument was irrelevant to the court's determination where plaintiffs achieved success supporting the fee award.