Pratik Shah Speaks to Law360 About Upcoming Supreme Court Environmental Cases

Pratik Shah, co-head of Akin Gump’s Supreme Court and appellate practice, is quoted by Law360 in the article “EPA’s Authority Up In The Air This High Term,” discussing several cases to be heard by the Court beginning this fall, which could affect the power of the EPA.

In explaining why the justices agreed to hear one of them, a government appeal of a D.C. Circuit decision striking down the EPA’s cross-state air pollution rule, Shah notes that “[w]henever the federal government decides to seek cert, that’s a big filtering mechanism for the court.” He adds that because there are states on both sides of the issue, “that increases its importance to the court.”

A separate case challenging the EPA’s greenhouse gas authority goes after the so-called tailoring rule, which gives a timeline for major stationary sources to apply for permits based on the scale of their greenhouse gas emissions. Several states are challenging the rule, and Shah, a former assistant to the solicitor general, says that with “significant ramifications for the regulated industry,” utilities are among those most likely to be affected.

Finally, Shah comments on a case in which environmental groups and states are challenging an EPA rule that exempts certain water transfers from Clean Water Act permit requirements. Shah, who co-authored the government’s petition while at the solicitor general’s office, says the rule “affects all sorts of municipalities and water districts, since transferring water from one body to another is a common activity for those entities.” If the rule is invalidated, he says it would “increase the permitting burden on EPA, which under the rule does not currently require … permits for water transfers.”

To read the full article, please click here.