Feds Seek Rehearing on Immunity from $8,000 State Pollution Fine

Sept. 13, 2021, 8:07 PM

The federal government wants the full Fourth Circuit to consider whether it must face North Carolina’s lawsuit seeking $8,000 for state air pollution violations, according to its petition for rehearing filed Monday.

Contrary to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s majority opinion, the Clean Air Act’s waiver of sovereign immunity is not unambiguous, the petition says. Though the law waives the federal government’s immunity for injunctions and coercive civil penalties, the waiver doesn’t reach punitive civil penalties, the petition says.

North Carolina sued after the federal government refused to pay its fine for state air pollution violations ...

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