Increased focus on the General Duty Clause of the Clean Air Act By Vickie Buchanan


The General Duty Clause (“GDC”) codified in Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 7401-7671) (“CAA”) has received national attention in the past year due to significant monetary penalties being imposed on manufacturers who failed to comply with the GDC. Specifically, D.D. Williamson and Co. and First Chemical Corp. consented in separate settlements to pay civil penalties in the amount of $1,331,000 and to implement remedial measures to resolve residual claims and environmental issues arising out of a 2003 explosion at a facility located in Louisville, Kentucky, which killed one individual and released dangerous amounts of ammonia into the air in the surrounding communities. These cases have caused many manufacturers and businesses to question whether their current operations satisfy the GDC.

Article authored by McAfee & Taft Attorney Vickie Buchanan.

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