Small Refiner Lead Phase-Down Task Force v. U.S. E.P.A.

Decision Date06 July 1983
Docket Number82-2283,82-2395 and 82-2521,82-2308,Nos. 82-2282,PHASE-DOWN,s. 82-2282
Parties, 18 ERC 1683, 18 ERC 2033, 227 U.S.App.D.C. 201, 13 Envtl. L. Rep. 20,390, 13 Envtl. L. Rep. 20,391, 13 Envtl. L. Rep. 20,490 SMALL REFINER LEADTASK FORCE, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, Anne M. Gorsuch, Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Respondents, Exxon Corporation, et al., Texas City Refining, Inc., Environmental Defense Fund, et al., Texaco, Inc., et al., Intervenors. SMALL REFINER LEADTASK FORCE, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, Anne M. Gorsuch, Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Respondents, Exxon Corporation, Sun Refining and Marketing Company, Texas City Refining, Inc., Environmental Defense Fund, et al., Texaco, Inc., et al., Intervenors. SMALL REFINER LEADTASK FORCE, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, Anne M. Gorsuch, Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Respondents, Environmental Defense Fund, et al., United Refining Company, Texaco, Inc., et al., Exxon Corporation, et al., Texas City Refining, Inc., Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., Intervenors. PLATEAU, INC., Petitioner, v. Anne M. GORSUCH, Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Respondents. SIMMONS OIL COMPANY, Petitioner, v. Anne M. GORSUCH, Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Respondents.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit

L.L. Hank Hankla, Washington, D.C., with whom Matthew A. Low, Washington, D.C., was on the brief, for petitioner, Small Refiner Lead Phase-Down Task Force.

Patrick M. Raher, Washington, D.C., with whom David J. Hayes, Washington, D.C., was on the brief, for petitioner, Plateau, Inc.

Scott M. DuBoff, Washington, D.C., with whom John P. Proctor and Sharon L. Steen, Washington, D.C., were on the brief, for petitioner, Simmons Oil Company.

Samuel I. Gutter, Atty., E.P.A., Washington, D.C., with whom Carol Dinkins, Asst. Atty. Gen., Washington, D.C., Robert M. Perry, Associate Administrator and Gen. Counsel, Houston, Tex., Gerald K. Gleason, Asst. Gen. Counsel, Robert A. Weissman and Robert E. Kenney, Attys., E.P.A., and David E. Dearing, Atty., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., were on the brief, for respondents.

G. William Frick, Washington, D.C., for intervenors, Texaco, Inc., et al. Roy L. Jacobs and Thomas Murphy, Washington, D.C., also entered appearances for Texaco, Inc., et al.

Robert V. Percival, Washington, D.C., for intervenors, Environmental Defense Fund Eric A. Goldstein, Brooklyn, N.Y., was on the brief for intervenor, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

and Consumers Union of the United States, Inc. Alan Mark Silbergeld, Washington, D.C., also entered an appearance for intervenors.

Richard P. Noland and Monica A. Otee, Washington, D.C., were on the brief for intervenor, Texas City Refining, Inc.

Frederick M. Lowther, James McNab, III, and Michael E. Nannes, Washington, D.C., were on the brief for intervenor, United Refining Co.

                                              TABLE OF CONTENTS
                                                                                         Page
                  I.  BACKGROUND ....................................................... 511
                      A. Early Regulation of Gasoline Lead ............................. 512
                      B. The Current Regulation ........................................ 512
                      C. Issues Presented .............................................. 514
                 II.  EPA's STATUTORY AUTHORITY ........................................ 514
                      A. Authority to Regulate Small Refiners .......................... 515
                      B. The Relationship Between the Gasoline Lead Standard and the
                          Ambient Air Quality Standard for Lead ........................ 516
                III.  JUDICIAL REVIEW UNDER CLEAN AIR ACT Sec. 307(d) ..................... 518
                      A. Notice of Rulemaking and Statement of Basis and Purpose ....... 518
                      B. The Record for Judicial Review ................................ 519
                      C. Substantive Review ............................................ 519
                      D. Procedural Review ............................................. 521
                 IV.  THE 1.10 gplg FINAL STANDARD ..................................... 523
                      A. EPA's Explanation ............................................. 523
                          1. Health Effects ............................................ 523
                          2. Feasibliity ............................................... 524
                          3. Equity and Efficiency ..................................... 525
                      B. What Constitutes Adequate Agency Reasoning .................... 525
                      C. Reasonableness of the Final Standard .......................... 526
                          1. Agency Reversal of Position ............................... 526
                          2. Health Effects ............................................ 527
                              a. Gasoline Lead Generally ............................... 527
                                  i. The Correlation Between Gasoline Lead and Blood
                                      Lead Levels ...................................... 527
                                 ii.  Incidence of Lead Poisoning ....................... 529
                                iii.  Public Comments ................................... 530
                                 iv.  Conclusion on Health Effects ...................... 531
                              b. The Health Effects of Small Refiner Lead Use .......... 531
                                  i. Sales to Urban Areas .............................. 531
                                 ii.  Health Effects in Rural Areas ..................... 533
                          3. Feasibility ............................................... 534
                              a. Timely Objection ...................................... 534
                              b. EPA's Use of Aggregate Analysis ....................... 535
                          4. Equity and Efficiency ..................................... 536
                          5. Summary ................................................... 536
                      D. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis ............................... 537
                          1. Reviewability of the Analysis ............................. 537
                          2. Adequacy of the Analysis .................................. 539
                      E. The July 1, 1983 Effective Date ............................... 539
                      F. Late Docketing of Comments .................................... 540
                      G. Conclusion .................................................... 541
                  V.  THE INTERIM 1.90 gplg STANDARD ................................... 542
                      A. Notice ........................................................ 542
                      B. Feasibility ................................................... 544
                      C. What Standard Does EPA Return To? ............................. 545
                 VI.  THE DEFINITION OF "SMALL REFINERY" ............................... 546
                      A. The Standard for Adequate Notice .............................. 546
                      B. Past Production Requirement ................................... 547
                      C. Past Ownership Requirement .................................... 548
                          1. Notice from EPA ........................................... 548
                          2. Actual Notice ............................................. 549
                          3. Notice by Others .......................................... 549
                          4. The July 1, 1981 Cutoff Date .............................. 551
                          5. Conclusion ................................................ 551
                      D. Our Power to Issue a Stay ..................................... 551
                VII.  CONCLUSION ....................................................... 552
                APPENDIX I ............................................................. 552
                APPENDIX II ............................................................ 554
                

Before WILKEY, WALD and MIKVA, Circuit Judges.

Opinion for the Court filed by Circuit Judge WALD.

WALD, Circuit Judge:

Petitioners Small Refiner Lead Phase-Down Task Force (SRTF), Plateau, Inc., and Simmons Oil Co. seek review of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation that sets lead-content limits for leaded gasoline produced by certain "small" refiners. 47 Fed.Reg. 49,322 (Oct. 29, 1982) (to be codified at 40 C.F.R. Sec. 80.2, .4, .7, .20). In brief, the new rule: (1) narrows EPA's previous definition of "small refinery"; (2) requires small refiners to meet an interim standard of no more than 1.90 grams of lead per gallon of leaded gasoline (grams per leaded gallon or gplg) as of November 1, 1982; and (3) requires small refiners to meet a final standard (equal to the large refiner standard) of no more than 1.10 gplg as of July 1, 1983.

We vacate the interim 1.90 gplg standard because EPA promulgated it without adequate notice and the standard is not supported by the evidence in the record. We also vacate one clause in the definition of "small refinery" as promulgated without adequate notice and not supported by the evidence in the record. We uphold the remainder of the regulation, including the 1.10 gplg final standard, as within EPA's statutory authority, not arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion, and not procedurally flawed.

I. BACKGROUND

Adding lead to gasoline is an inexpensive way to produce the high-octane gasoline needed by today's high-compression auto and truck engines. Other methods of producing high-octane gasoline require refiners to invest large sums in refining equipment and also involve higher operating costs. In particular, a refinery that uses less lead must use more crude oil to produce the same amount of gasoline. Use of lead in gasoline, however, has grave social costs. Lead is highly...

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