Am. Coatings Ass'n v. S. Coast Air Quality Dist.Annotate this Case
The South Coast Air Quality Management District is charged with regulating nonvehicular air pollution emissions in regions that have some of the worst air pollution in the country. This case concerned the District's 2002 amendments to its Rule 1113, which limits certain pollution-causing substances in paints and coatings. The American Coatings Association challenged the amendments on the ground they exceeded the District's regulatory authority under statutes requiring the use of "best available retrofit control technology." At issue was whether the technology was "available" under the statute. The superior court held that the rule was within the District's authority. The court of appeal reversed in part, concluding that the statutory phrase "best available retrofit control technology" meant technology that was available or capable of being readily assembly when the amendments were promulgated. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the relevant statutes give the District the authority to promulgate pollution standards based on technologies that do not currently exist but are reasonably anticipated to exist by the compliance deadline; and (2) the District sufficiently demonstrated that its challenged emissions limits were achievable in each paint and coating category in Rule 1113 and that the categories were reasonably drawn.