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Inland Foundry Co. v. Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority

filed: May 2, 1996.

INLAND FOUNDRY COMPANY, INC., A WASHINGTON CORPORATION, APPELLANT,
v.
SPOKANE COUNTY AIR POLLUTION CONTROL AUTHORITY, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from SUPERIOR COURT SPOKANE COUNTY. Superior Court No: 94-2-02195-2. Date filed in Superior Court: 3/10/95. Superior Court Judge signing: RICHARD SCHROEDER.

Author: Philip J. Thompson, Concurring: Dennis J. Sweeney & John A. Schultheis

Author: Thompson

THOMPSON, J.--Inland Foundry Company, Inc. operates a ferrous foundry in Spokane County. In 1992, the Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority (SCAPCA) billed Inland an annual facility fee, an inspection fee and emission fees. The fees were assessed in accordance with SCAPCA regulations which classified foundries as air contaminant sources and established a method for calculating assessments. When Inland refused to pay the fees, SCAPCA issued an order of payment. Inland challenged the order and the regulations in an appeal to the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB). In summary judgment proceedings, the PCHB upheld the regulations and order. On appeal to superior court, the PCHB's decision was affirmed. We reverse and remand to the PCHB for further proceedings.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Both Inland and SCAPCA moved for summary judgment in the PCHB's proceedings. Accordingly, this court engages in the same inquiry as the PCHB. In doing so, review is confined to the administrative record. A summary judgment is appropriate only when there is no genuine issue as to any material facts and the moving party is

entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Marincovich v. Tarabochia, 114 Wash. 2d 271, 274, 787 P.2d 562 (1990).

Judicial review of rules adopted by an activated air pollution control authority such as SCAPCA is governed by Part V of RCW Chapter 34.05, the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). RCW 70.94.141(1). Therefore, although SCAPCA is a municipal corporation,*fn1 its rules are reviewed under the APA in the same manner as rules of a state agency. When reviewing a rule under the APA,*fn2 the court shall declare the rule invalid only if it finds that it violates constitutional provisions, exceeds the statutory authority of the agency, was adopted without compliance with statutory rule-making procedures, or it is arbitrary and capricious. RCW 34.05.570(2)(c).

CLASSIFICATION REGULATION AND ENABLING STATUTE

SCAPCA regulated Inland as a member of the class of air contaminant sources it described as "casting facilities and foundries, ferrous and nonferrous." The classification was established in SCAPCA Regulation I, Article IV, Section 4.01, which states:

Under the authority of 70.94.151 RCW, the classes of air contaminant sources listed in Exhibit "R" below are regulated by the Authority. An air contaminant source whether publicly or privately owned shall register with the Authority unless a written exemption is issued by the Authority. An air contaminant source established after the adoption of this Section shall register prior to commencing operations. Registration information shall be updated annually thereafter.

The board of any activated air pollution ...


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