• Supreme Court Denies Certiorari to Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, Allowing for State Law Air Pollution Tort Claims to Co-Exist with the Clean Air Act
  • October 31, 2014 | Author: Hubert T. Lee
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • On June 2, 2014, the Supreme Court denied certiorari for a petition filed by Cheswick Generating Station (Cheswick), a coal-fired power plant in West Pennsylvania. GenOn Power Midwest, L.P. v. Bell, 134 S. Ct. 2696 (2014). Cheswick had petitioned the Supreme Court to hear its arguments after the Third Circuit held that the Clean Air Act (CAA) does not preempt state common law tort claims and that a class-action lawsuit filed by more than 1,500 residents who lived near the power plant could proceed based on state common law air pollution tort claims. The Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari opens the door to other suits based on state tort laws and inevitably compels industry to not only seek compliance with the CAA, but to consider compliance with its respective state-level tort common law.