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Clean Air Act Citizen Suits: Defense and Litigation Strategies

Navigating Notice, Standing and Jurisdiction; Interpleading Third Parties Under the CAA

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide guidance on procedural and strategic challenges for counsel defending citizen suits under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The panel will explain recent case law developments that impact citizen suits and provide strategies to manage your clients’ risks when facing citizen suits.


The CAA provides an avenue for citizens to separately enforce environmental laws and permits when they believe governmental agencies haven’t taken timely action against parties under federal and state regulations.

Given the new administration’s environmental priorities and proposed cut-backs to the EPA’s budget, many expect an uptick in citizen suits, both against regulated entities and against the EPA to perform its statutory obligations.

Listen as our panel examines citizen suits under the CAA, focusing on defenses and strategies for litigating and resolving these matters. The panel will discuss case law developments (including a recent $19 million judgment) and also provide best practices to reduce the risks of citizen suits.



  1. Types and Characteristics of CAA Citizen Suits
    1. Against facility owners
    2. Against EPA or other agencies
  2. Responding to a Notice of Intent to Sue
  3. Litigating Citizen Suit Actions
    1. Defenses
      1. Notice
      2. Standing
      3. Diligent Prosecution/Mootness
      4. Title V operating permit shield defense
    2. Other novel litigation approaches to CAA citizen suits
  4. Litigation under other Regimes
    1. State litigation
    2. Overlap with nuisance, toxic tort
    3. Intervention in suits against EPA to enforce agency action
  5. Court Developments – Citizen suits, climate change and nuisance litigation
  6. Strategies for Reducing Risk of CAA Citizen Suits


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Responding effectively to risks and notice of potential CAA citizen suits
  • Court-tested litigation tactics to defend CAA citizen suits
  • Preclusion of CAA citizen suits through state or federal agency settlements


Joshua B. Frank
Joshua B. Frank

Baker Botts

Mr. Frank handles a wide variety of complex environmental litigation matters, including cost recovery, contribution and...  |  Read More

Seth D. Jaffe
Seth D. Jaffe

Foley Hoag

Mr. Jaffe focuses his practice on environmental compliance and related litigation. He is one of the authors of the Law...  |  Read More

Kent Mayo
Kent Mayo

Baker Botts

Mr. Mayo handles a wide variety of environmental matters, with a focus on environmental litigation and enforcement...  |  Read More

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