Erin Dewey

Document Type



On July 26, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in North Carolina ex rel. Cooper v. Tennessee Valley Authority, held not only that the Clean Air Act (CAA) preempts state nuisance law, but also that the issuance of a CAA permit makes a public nuisance legally and theoretically impossible. In doing so, the Fourth Circuit established a considerable barrier to public nuisance suits. This Comment analyzes the legal viability of this decision and the implications of barring public nuisance in light of its growing popularity to address interstate air pollution and climate change.