MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.
The Clean Air Act authorizes the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate "emission standards" for hazardous air pollutants "at the level which in his judgment provides an ample margin of safety to protect the public health." § 112 (b) (1) (B), 84 Stat. 1685, 42 U. S. C. § 1857c-7 (b) (1) (B). The emission of an air pollutant in
It is within this legislative matrix that the present criminal prosecution arose.
Petitioner was indicted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for violation of § 112 (c) (1) (B). The indictment alleged that petitioner, while engaged in the demolition of a building in Detroit, failed to comply with 40 CFR § 61.22 (d) (2) (i) (1975). That regulation, described in its caption as a "National Emission Standard for Asbestos," specifies procedures to be followed in connection with building demolitions, but does not by its terms limit emissions of asbestos which occur during the course of a demolition. The District Court granted petitioner's motion to dismiss the indictment on the ground that no violation of § 112 (c) (1) (B), necessary to establish criminal liability under § 113 (c) (1) (C), had been alleged, because the cited
We do not intend to make light of a difficult question of statutory interpretation when we say that the basic question in this case may be phrased: "When is an emission standard not an emission standard?" Petitioner contends, and the District Court agreed, that while the preclusion and exclusivity provisions of § 307 (b) of the Act prevented his obtaining "judicial review" of an emission standard in this criminal proceeding, he was nonetheless entitled to claim that the administrative regulation cited in the indictment was actually not an emission standard at all. The Court of Appeals took the contrary view. It held that a regulation designated by the Administrator as an "emission standard," however different in content it might be from what Congress had contemplated when it authorized the promulgation of emission standards, was sufficient to support a criminal charge based upon § 112 (c), unless it had been set aside in an appropriate proceeding commenced in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit pursuant to § 307 (b).
The Court of Appeals in its opinion relied heavily on Yakus v. United States, 321 U.S. 414 (1944), in which this Court held that Congress in the context of criminal proceedings could require that the validity of regulatory action be challenged in a particular court at a particular time, or not at all. That case, however, does not decide this one. Because § 307 (b) expressly applies only to "emission standards," we must still inquire as to the validity of the Government's underlying
In resolving this question, we think the statutory provisions of the Clean Air Act are far less favorable to the Government's position than were the provisions of the Emergency Price Control Act considered in Yakus. The broad language of that statute gave clear evidence of congressional intent that any actions taken by the Price Administrator under the purported authority of the designated sections of the Act should be challenged only in the Emergency Court of Appeals. Nothing has been called to our attention which would lead us to disagree with the Government's description of the judicial review provisions of that Act:
This relatively simple statutory scheme contrasts with the Clean Air Act's far more complex interrelationship between the imposition of criminal sanctions and judicial review of the
Each of the three separate subsections in the quoted language creates criminal offenses. The first of them, subsection (A), deals with violations of applicable implementation plans after receipt of notice of such violation. Under § 307 (b) (1), judicial review of the Administrator's action in approving or promulgating an implementation plan is not restricted to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but may be had "in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit." But § 307 (b) (2) does provide that the validity of such plans may not be reviewed in the criminal proceeding itself.
Subsection (C), which we discuss before turning to subsection (B), provides criminal penalties for violations of three
Finally, subsection (B) of § 113 (c) (1) subjects to criminal penalties "any person who knowingly . . . violates or fails or refuses to comply with any order issued by the Administrator under subsection (a)." Subsection (a), in turn, empowers the Administrator to issue orders requiring compliance, not only with those regulations for which criminal penalties are provided under subsections (A) and (C), but also with the record-keeping and inspection requirements of § 114, 42 U. S. C.
The conclusion we draw from this excursion into the complexities of the criminal sanctions provided by the Act are several. First, Congress has not chosen to prescribe either civil or criminal sanctions for violations of every rule, regulation, or order issued by the Administrator. Second, Congress, as might be expected, has imposed civil liability for a wider range of violations of the orders of the Administrator than those for which it has imposed criminal liability. Third, even where Congress has imposed criminal liability for the violation of an order of the Administrator, it has not uniformly precluded judicial challenge to the order as a defense in the criminal proceeding. Fourth, although Congress has applied the preclusion provisions of § 307 (b) (2) to implementation plans approved by the Administrator, and it has in § 113 (c) (1) (A) provided criminal penalties for violations of those plans, it has nonetheless required, under normal circumstances, that a violation continue for a period of 30 days after receipt of notice of the violation from the Administrator before the criminal sanction may be imposed.
These conclusions in no way detract from the fact that Congress has precluded judicial review of an "emission standard" in the court in which the criminal proceeding for the violation of the standard is brought. Indeed, the conclusions heighten the importance of determining what it was that Congress meant by an "emission standard," since a violation of
The stringency of the penalty imposed by Congress lends substance to petitioner's contention that Congress envisioned a particular type of regulation when it spoke of an "emission standard." The fact that Congress dealt more leniently, either in terms of liability, of notice, or of available defenses, with other infractions of the Administrator's orders suggests that it attached a peculiar importance to compliance with "emission standards." Unlike the situation in Yakus, Congress in the Clean Air Act singled out violators of this generic form of regulation, imposed criminal penalties upon them which would not be imposed upon violators of other orders of the Administrator, and precluded them from asserting defenses which might be asserted by violators of other orders of the Administrator. All of this leads us to conclude that Congress intended, within broad limits, that "emission standards" be regulations of a certain type, and that it did not empower the Administrator, after the manner of Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking-Glass, to make a regulation an "emission standard" by his mere designation.
In sum, a survey of the totality of the statutory scheme does not compel agreement with the Government's contention that Congress intended that the Administrator's designation of a regulation as an emission standard should be conclusive in a criminal prosecution. At the very least, it may be said that
We conclude, therefore, that a federal court in which a criminal prosecution under § 113 (c) (1) (C) of the Clean Air Act is brought may determine whether or not the regulation which the defendant is alleged to have violated is an "emission standard" within the meaning of the Act. We are aware of the possible dangers that flow from this interpretation; district courts will be importuned, under the guise of making a determination as to whether a regulation is an "emission standard," to engage in judicial review in a manner that is precluded by § 307 (b) (2) of the Act. This they may not do. The narrow inquiry to be addressed by the court in a criminal prosecution is not whether the Administrator has complied with appropriate procedures in promulgating the regulation in question, or whether the particular regulation is arbitrary, capricious, or supported by the administrative record. Nor is the court to pursue any of the other familiar inquiries which arise in the course of an administrative review proceeding. The question is only whether the regulation which the defendant is alleged to have violated is on its face an "emission standard" within the broad limits of the congressional meaning of that term.
It remains to be seen whether the District Court reached the correct conclusion with regard to the regulation here in question. In the Act, Congress has given a substantial indication of the intended meaning of the term "emission standard." Section 112 on its face distinguishes between emission standards and the techniques to be utilized in achieving those standards. Under § 112 (c) (1) (B) (ii), the Administrator is empowered temporarily to exempt certain facilities
Most clearly supportive of petitioner's position that a standard was intended to be a quantitative limit on emissions is this provision of § 112 (b) (1) (B): "The Administrator shall establish any such standard at the level which in his judgment provides an ample margin of safety to protect the public health from such hazardous air pollutant." (Emphasis added.) All these provisions lend force to the conclusion that a standard is a quantitative "level" to be attained by use of "techniques," "controls," and "technology." This conclusion is fortified by recent amendments to the Act, by which Congress authorized the Administrator to promulgate a "design, equipment, work practice, or operational standard" when "it is not feasible to prescribe or enforce an emission standard." Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977, Pub. L. 95-95, § 110, 91 Stat. 703.
This distinction, now endorsed by Congress, between "work practice standards" and "emission standards" first appears in the Administrator's own account of the development of this regulation. Although the Administrator has contended that a "work practice standard" is just another type of emission standard, the history of this regulation demonstrates that he
The Government concedes that, prior to the 1977 Amendments, the statute was ambiguous with regard to whether a work-practice standard was properly classified as an emission standard, but argues that this Court should defer to the Administrator's construction of the Act.
For all of the foregoing reasons, we conclude that the work-practice standard involved here was not an emission standard. The District Court's order dismissing the indictment was therefore proper, and the judgment of the Court of Appeals is
MR. JUSTICE POWELL, concurring.
If the constitutional validity of § 307 (b) of the Clean Air Act had been raised by petitioner, I think it would have merited serious consideration. This section limits judicial review to the filing of a petition in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit within 30 days from the date of the promulgation by the Administrator of an emission standard. No notice is afforded a party who may be subject to criminal prosecution other than publication of the Administrator's action in the Federal Register.
Although I express no considered judgment, I think Yakus is at least arguably distinguishable. The statute there came before the Court during World War II, and it can be viewed as a valid exercise of the war powers of Congress under Art. I, § 8, of the Constitution. Although the opinion of Mr. Chief Justice Stone is not free from ambiguity, there is language emphasizing that the price controls imposed by the Congress were a "war emergency measure." Indeed, the Government argued that the statute should be upheld under the war powers authority of Congress. Brief for United States in Yakus v. United States, O. T. 1943, No. 374, p. 35. As important as environmental concerns are to the country, they are not comparable —in terms of an emergency justifying the shortcutting of normal due process rights—to the need for national mobilization in wartime of economic as well as military activity.
The 30-day limitation on judicial review imposed by the Clean Air Act would afford precariously little time for many affected persons even if some adequate method of notice were afforded. It also is totally unrealistic to assume that more than a fraction of the persons and entities affected by a regulation —especially small contractors scattered across the country —would have knowledge of its promulgation or familiarity with or access to the Federal Register. Indeed, following Yakus, and apparently concerned by Mr. Justice Rutledge's
I join the Court's opinion with the understanding that it implies no view as to the constitutional validity of the preclusion provisions of § 307 (b) in the context of a criminal prosecution.
MR. JUSTICE STEWART, with whom MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN and MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN join, dissenting.
Section 307 (b) (1) of the Clean Air Act provides that a "petition for review of action of the Administrator in promulgating. . . any emission standard under section 112" may be filed only in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit within 30 days of promulgation. Section 307 (b) (2) of the Act provides that an "[a]ction of the Administrator with respect to which review could have been obtained under paragraph (1) shall not be subject to judicial review in civil or criminal proceedings for enforcement." Despite these unambiguous provisions, the Court holds in this case that such an action of the Administrator shall be subject to judicial review in a criminal proceeding for enforcement of the Act, at least sometimes. Because this tampering with the plain statutory language threatens to destroy the effectiveness of the unified and expedited judicial review procedure established by Congress in the Clean Air Act, I respectfully dissent.
The inquiry that the Court today allows a trial court to make—whether the asbestos regulation at issue is an emission standard of the type envisioned by Congress—is nothing more than an inquiry into whether the Administrator has acted beyond his statutory authority. But such an inquiry is a normal part of judicial review of agency action. 5 U. S. C. § 706 (2) (C); see Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe,
The Court's interpretation of § 307 (b) (2) also conspicuously frustrates the intent of Congress to establish a speedy and unified system of judicial review under the Act. The Court concludes that violation of the regulation involved in this case is not proscribed by §§ 112 (c) (1) (B) and 113 (c) (1) (C) because the regulation is not an emission standard. This interpretation of the Act would make judicial review of this regulation in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit impossible, since that court has statutory jurisdiction under § 307 (b) (1) to review "emission standard[s]" but is not given jurisdiction to review the actions of the Administrator generally. It follows that judicial review of this action of the Administrator could be had only in other courts, either in enforcement proceedings as in this case or under the general provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U. S. C. § 701 et seq., despite the clearly expressed congressional intent to centralize all judicial review of the Administrator's regulations. The Court's interpretation thus not only invites precisely the sort of inconsistent judicial determinations by various courts that Congress sought to prevent, but flies in the face of the congressional purpose "to maintain the integrity of the time sequences provided throughout the Act." S. Rep. No. 91-1196, supra, at 41.
Finally, the Court provides no real guidance as to which
Since I believe that the Administrator's action in promulgating this regulation could have been reviewed in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit under § 307 (b) (1), and that such review could have included the petitioner's claim that the Administrator's action was beyond his authority under the Act, I would hold that the petitioner was barred by the express language of § 307 (b) (2) from raising that issue in the present case.
MR. JUSTICE STEVENS, dissenting.
The reason Congress attached "the most stringent criminal liability," ante, at 283, to the violation of an emission standard for a "hazardous air pollutant" is that substances within that narrow category pose an especially grave threat to human health. That is also a reason why the Court should avoid a construction of the statute that would deny the Administrator the authority to regulate these poisonous substances effectively.
Nothing in the language of the 1970 statute, or in its history, compels so crippling an interpretation of the Administrator's authority. On the contrary, I am persuaded (1) that the Administrator's regulation of asbestos emissions was entirely legitimate; (2) that if this conclusion were doubtful, we would nevertheless be required to respect his reasonable interpretation of the governing statute; (3) that the 1977 Amendments, fairly read, merely clarified his pre-existing authority; and (4) that the Court's reading of the statute in its current form leads to the anomalous conclusion that work-practice rules, even though properly promulgated, are entirely unenforceable. Accordingly, although I agree with the conclusions reached in Parts I, II, and III of the Court's opinion, I cannot accept Part IV's disposition of the most important issue in this case.
The regulation which petitioner is accused of violating requires that asbestos insulation and fireproofing in large
Section 112 is concerned with a few extraordinarily toxic pollutants. Only three substances, including asbestos, have been classified as "hazardous air pollutants" within the meaning of § 112.
If that total prohibition had been adopted, it unquestionably would have conformed to the statutory mandate. It was not adopted, however, because industry convinced the Administrator that his proposal would prevent the demolition of any large building.
The promulgated standard is entirely consistent with congressional intent. Congress had indicated a preference for numerical emission standards.
Admittedly, Congress did not foresee the Administrator's dilemma with precision. But there is nothing unique about that circumstance. See, e. g., Mourning v. Family Publications Serv., Inc., 411 U.S. 356, 372-373. Indeed, there would be no need for interstitial administrative lawmaking if Congress could foresee every ramification of laws as complex as this.
The precise question presented to this Court is not whether, as an initial matter, we would regard the asbestos regulation as an "emission standard" within the meaning of § 112. Rather, the issue is whether the Administrator's answer to the question of statutory construction is "sufficiently reasonable that it should have been accepted by the reviewing courts." Train v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 421 U.S. 60, 75.
The Administrator, who has primary responsibility for carrying out the purposes of the Clean Air Act, interpreted the term "emission standard" to include the rule before us. Contrary to the Court's implication, ante, at 287, the Administrator did not promulgate this rule "instead" of an emission standard. He unambiguously concluded that the rule was a proper emission standard.
The Court holds that these well-established doctrines apply only in "ordinary circumstances." Ante, at 288. I do not understand why these rules of construction should be less applicable in the unusual than in the ordinary case. Indeed, it seems to me that the extraordinary importance of regulating a hazardous air pollutant in a way that is both fair and effective provides an additional reason for respecting the Administrator's reliance on well-established doctrine, rather than a reason for reaching out to undermine his authority.
In the Court's view, however, the enactment of amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1977 was an extraordinary circumstance
The Court's conclusion ultimately rests on the 1977 Amendments. Even accepting the dubious premise that we can rely on the 95th Congress to tell us what the 93d had in mind, the 1977 Amendments do not support the Court's interpretation of the statute.
The history of the Amendments is instructive. In late 1974, several wrecking companies successfully challenged indictments brought against them in the Northern District of Illinois for violating the wetting requirements.
When the bill emerged from conference, it no longer expressly stated that a work-practice rule was an emission standard. This change therefore lends support to the Court's view. But it is most unlikely that the Conference Committee intended to express indirect disapproval of the Administrator's reading of the 1970 Amendments. The Conference Report explained that the change in language was merely intended to "clarify" an aspect of the Senate version which was unrelated to the question whether a work-practice rule is, or had been a species of emission standard.
It is true, as the Court says, that the Senate Report "refrained from endorsing the Administrator's view that the regulation had previously been authorized as an emission standard under § 112 (c)." Ante, at 289. It is equally true that the Senate Report refrained from criticizing the Administrator's view. In short, what Congress said in 1977 sheds no light on its understanding of the original meaning of the 1970 Amendments. But what Congress did when it expressly authorized work-practice rules persuasively indicates that, if Congress in 1970 had focused on the latent ambiguity in the term "emission standard," it would have expressly granted the authority that the Administrator regarded as implicit in the statute as written.
A reading of the entire statute, as amended in 1977, confirms my opinion that the asbestos regulation is, and since its promulgation has been, an emission standard. If this is not true, as the Court holds today, it is unenforceable, and will continue to be unenforceable even if promulgated anew pursuant to the authority expressly set forth in the 1977 Amendments.
The Clean Air Act treats the Administrator's power to promulgate emission standards separately from his power to enforce them. While it is § 112 (b) that gives the Administrator authority to promulgate an "emission standard," it is § 112 (c) that prohibits the violation of an "emission standard." Presumably the Court's holding that a work-practice rule is not an "emission standard" applies to both of these sections. Under that holding a work-practice rule may neither be enforced nor promulgated as an emission standard. This holding will not affect the Administrator's power to promulgate work-practice rules, because the 1977 Amendments explicitly recognize that power. But Congress has not amended § 112 (c), which continues to permit enforcement only of "emission standards." Accordingly, the Court's holding today has effectively made the asbestos regulation, and any other work-practice rule as well, unenforceable.
Ironically, therefore, the 1977 Amendments, which were intended to lift the cloud over the Administrator's authority, have actually made his exercise of that authority ineffectual. This is the kind of consequence a court risks when it substitutes its reading of a complex statute for that of the Administrator charged with the responsibility of enforcing it. Moreover,
I would affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
"If EPA is correct that its regulations are `effluent limitation[s] under section 301,' the regulations are directly reviewable in the Court of Appeals.
If industry is correct that the regulations can only be considered § 304 guidelines, suit to review the regulations could probably be brought only in the District Court, if anywhere. Thus, the issue of jurisdiction to review the regulations is intertwined with the issue of EPA's power to issue the regulations." Id., at 124-125.
In that case, the District Court had conducted a careful analysis, concluding that the regulations in question were "effluent limitations," 383 F.Supp. 1244 (WD Va. 1974), aff'd, 528 F.2d 1136 (CA4 1975), just as the District Court here concluded that this regulation is not an emission standard.
This lack of specific attention to the statutory authorization is especially important in light of this Court's pronouncement in Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U.S. 134, 140 (1944), that one factor to be considered in giving weight to an administrative ruling is "the thoroughness evident in its consideration, the validity of its reasoning, its consistency with earlier and later pronouncements, and all those factors which give it power to persuade, if lacking power to control." The Administrator's remarks with regard to these regulations clearly demonstrate that he carefully considered available techniques and methods for controlling asbestos emissions, but they give no indication of "the validity of [his] reasoning" in concluding that he was authorized to promulgate these techniques as an "emission standard," within the statutory definition. Since this Court can only speculate as to his reasons for reaching that conclusion, the mere promulgation of a regulation, without a concomitant exegesis of the statutory authority for doing so, obviously lacks "power to persuade" as to the existence of such authority.
By contrast, the Wage and Hour Administrator in Gemsco, Inc. v. Walling, 324 U.S. 244 (1945), referred to in Brother STEVENS' dissenting opinion, post, at 299-300, n. 16, gave clear indication of his reasons for concluding that the administrative regulation prohibiting industrial homework was authorized by § 8 (f) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 52 Stat. 1065. The statute empowered the Administrator to issue orders necessary "to prevent the circumvention or evasion" of orders issued under § 8 (f), and the Administrator specifically found that the practice prohibited by the order there challenged " `furnishe[d] a ready means of circumventing or evading the minimum wage order for this Industry.' " 324 U. S., at 250, n. 9. In this case, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency offered no comparable analysis of his statutory authority.
In Train v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 421 U.S. 60 (1975), relied upon by Brother STEVENS' dissent, this Court was not persuaded by "a single sentence in the Federal Register," post, at 301 n. 18, but by our own "analysis of the structure and legislative history of the Clean Air Amendments," 421 U. S., at 86, which led us to a result consistent with the Administrator's prior practice. Here, our analysis mandates a contrary conclusion, which is not undercut by the Administrator's unexplained exercise of supposed authority.
Finally, as noted in n. 4, supra, Congress has not explicitly adopted the Administrator's present position with regard to the meaning of the term "emission standard," although it could easily have done so. It is true, as that dissent remarks, post, at 305-306, n. 24, that Congress has responded to concerns expressed by the Administrator. However, he first advised us of the deficiency in § 307 (b) at oral argument, and even then did not suggest that under the statutory scheme as it presently exists his work-practice standards may be unenforceable. This piecemeal approach to the complexities of the Act hardly displays the "thoroughness. . . in . . . consideration," Skidmore, supra, at 140, which we would expect to find in an administrative construction.
"(i) Friable asbestos materials, used to insulate or fireproof any boiler, pipe, or load-supporting structural member, shall be wetted and removed from any building, structure, facility, or installation subject to this paragraph before wrecking of load-supporting structural members is commenced. The friable asbestos debris shall be wetted adequately to insure that such debris remains wet during all stages of demolition and related handling operations." 40 CFR § 61.22 (d) (2) (i) (1975).
"(A) The Administrator shall, within 90 days after the date of enactment of the Clean Air Amendments of 1970, publish (and shall from time to time thereafter revise) a list which includes each hazardous air pollutant for which he intends to establish an emission standard under this section.
"(B) Within 180 days after the inclusion of any air pollutant in such list, the Administrator shall publish proposed regulations establishing emission standards for such pollutant together with a notice of a public hearing within thirty days. Not later than 180 days after such publication, the Administrator shall prescribe an emission standard for such pollutant, unless he finds, on the basis of information presented at such hearings, that such pollutant clearly is not a hazardous air pollutant. The Administrator shall establish any such standard at the level which in his judgment provides an ample margin of safety to protect the public health from such hazardous air pollutant.
"(C) Any emission standard established pursuant to this section shall become effective upon promulgation." 84 Stat. 1685, 42 U. S. C. § 1857c-7 (b) (1).
The Administrator's investigation fully supported Congress' suspicion that asbestos was an intolerably dangerous pollutant. Among other risks, even low-level or intermittent exposure to asbestos can cause cancer 20 or 30 years after the event. 38 Fed. Reg. 8820 (1973). For example, a form of cancer usually found almost exclusively in asbestos workers killed a woman whose only contact with the pollutant was washing the workclothes of her children, who worked for an asbestos company. See Horvitz, Asbestos and Its Environmental Impact, 3 Environmental Affairs 145, 146 (1974).
"The proposed standard would have prohibited visible emissions of asbestos particulate material from the repair or demolition of any building or structure other than a single-family dwelling. Comments indicated that the no visible emission requirement would prohibit repair or demolition in many situations, since it would be impracticable, if not impossible, to do such work without creating visible emissions. Accordingly, the promulgated standard specifies certain work practices which must be followed when demolishing certain buildings or structures. The standard covers institutional, industrial, and commercial buildings or structures, including apartment houses having more than four dwelling units, which contain friable asbestos material." 38 Fed. Reg. 8821 (1973).
"The industry is covered by the Act. This is not disputed. The intent of Congress was to provide the authorized minimum wage for each employee so covered. Neither is this questioned. Yet it is said in substance that Congress at the same time intended to deprive the Administrator of the only means available to make its mandate effective. The construction sought would make the statute a dead letter in this industry.
"The statute itself thus gives the answer. It does so in two ways, by necessity to avoid self-nullification and by its explicit terms. The necessity should be enough. But the Act's terms reinforce the necessity's teaching. Section 8 (d) requires the Administrator to `carry into effect' the committee's approved recommendations. Section 8 (f) commands him to include in the order `such terms and conditions' as he `finds necessary to carry out' its purposes. . . . When command is so explicit and, moreover, is reinforced by necessity in order to make it operative, nothing short of express limitation or abuse of discretion in finding that the necessity exists should undermine the action taken to execute it." Id., at 254-255.
In the present case, necessity also demanded the promulgation of a work-practice rule if Congress' purposes were to be carried out at a cost acceptable to the Nation. Furthermore, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has similar powers "to prescribe such regulations as are necessary to carry out his functions under this chapter." § 301, 42 U. S. C. § 1857g (a).
"[T]he promulgated standard specifies certain work practices which must be followed when demolishing certain buildings or structures. The standard covers institutional, industrial, and commercial buildings or structures . . . . The standard requires that the Administrator be notified at least 20 days prior to the commencement of demolition." 38 Fed. Reg. 8821 (1973).
"Without going so far as to hold that the Agency's construction of the Act was the only one it permissibly could have adopted, we conclude that it was at the very least sufficiently reasonable that it should have been accepted by the reviewing courts." Train v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 421 U.S. 60, 75.
See also McLaren v. Fleischer, 256 U.S. 477, 480-481. The Court rejects the Administrator's view because his "mere promulgation of a regulation" lacks power to persuade. Ante, at 288 n. 5. We have not previously required that judicial-style opinions accompany administrative actions or interpretations. In Train, supra, the Court deferred to the Administrator's interpretation of the Clean Air Act even though his interpretation had been rejected by every Circuit to consider it, 421 U. S., at 72, and even though the interpretation was expressed and "supported" only by a single sentence in the Federal Register. 36 Fed. Reg. 22398, 22405 (1971). The Court's "own `analysis of the structure and legislative history,' " ante, at 288 n. 5, was limited to answering the question whether the Administrator's construction was "sufficiently reasonable" to be permissible. 421 U. S., at 75. Similarly, in Norwegian Nitrogen Co. v. United States, 288 U.S. 294, the Court deferred to an administrative practice that apparently was formally justified only after the practice was challenged in court. Id., at 311, 314-315.
"(e) For purposes of this section the Administrator may promulgate a hazardous emission standard in terms of a design, equipment, or operational standard if he determines that such standard is necessary to control emissions of a hazardous pollutant or pollutants because, in the judgment of the Administrator, they cannot or should not be emitted through a conveyance designed and constructed to emit or capture such pollutants." S. Rep. No. 95-127, p. 163 (1977).
"Amends section 112 of existing law to specify design, equipment, or operational standards for the control of a source of hazardous emissions, where an emission limitation is not possible or feasible to measure hazardous emissions or to capture them through appropriate devices for control." H. R. Conf. Rep. No. 95-564, p. 131 (1977).
It described the conference substitute in these terms:
"The House concurs in the Senate provision with an amendment to clarify that the Administrator may specify a hazardous design standard if the emission of hazardous pollutants through a conveyance designed to emit or capture such pollutants would be inconsistent with any Federal, State or local law and minor clarifying modifications in the language." Id., at 131-132.