Telecommunications and Environmental Cases - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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Telecommunications and Environmental Cases

The Ninth Circuit decided one environmental law matter and one concerning an arbitral award regarding telecommunications local exchange carriers.

MacClarence v. EPA, No. 07-72756, involved a petition for review of the EPA's order denying petitioner's request that the EPA object to the issuance of a Clean Air Act Title V permit for pollutant-emitting activities at an oil and gas processing facility.

The court of appeals denied the petition, holding that 1) the EPA Administrator's conclusion that petitioner failed to provide adequate information to support his claim that the entire facility should be aggregated was not arbitrary or capricious; and 2) the Administrator's order denying the petition properly set forth petitioner's burden under 42 U.S.C. section 7661d(b)(2), stating that "to justify exercise of an objection by EPA to a title V permit pursuant to section 7661d(b)(2), a petitioner must demonstrate that the permit is not in compliance with the requirements of the CAA" and later concluding that "the general allegations of the Petitioner in the April 2004 Petition . . . fail to demonstrate a basis for Petitioner's claim that Revision 1 to the GC 1 Permit violates the CAA . . . ."

Pac. Bell Tel. Co. v. Cal. Pub. Utils. Comm., No. 08-15568, involved a telecommunications company's appeal from (1) the district court's confirmation of an arbitral order affirming the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) requirement that plaintiff lease entrance facilities to competitor local exchange carriers (LECs) at Total Element Long Run Incremental Cost (TELRIC) rates for the purpose of interconnection; and (2) the district court's order vacating the arbitrator's affirmance of CPUC's conclusion that 47 C.F.R. section 51.319(e)(2)(ii)(B) applied only on routes where competitive LECs were not "impaired" as to DS3 transport circuits.

The court of appeals affirmed the orders where 1) FCC regulations authorized state public utilities commissions to order incumbent LECs to lease entrance facilities to competitive LECs at regulated rates for the purpose of interconnection; and 2) the plain language of the governing regulation, 47 C.F.R. section 51.319(e (2)(ii)(B), limited a competitive LEC to a maximum of ten DS1 circuits along any route regardless of whether the competitive LEC was impaired as to DS3 lines.

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