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Fifth Circuit Holds that Dallas Taxicab Rule is Not Preempted by the Clean Air Act

On June 13, 2013, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion upholding a 2010 Dallas city ordinance that allows taxi cabs powered by compressed natural gas ("CNG") to have priority over gasoline-powered taxi cabs in lines for passengers at Dallas’ Love Field airport.

The Association of Taxicab Owners, which represents gasoline-powered taxis in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, challenged the ordinance on the basis that it was preempted by the federal Clean Air Act, as it constituted a backdoor manner of regulating new vehicle emissions. A three judge panel of the Fifth Circuit upheld the ordinance, finding that it did not impose emissions controls either directly or through its indirect effects, as it did not create a mandatory standard compelling the conversion of taxi cabs to CNG and taxi cabs had alternative available methods to recover any losses derived from losing a place in line at Love Field.

© 2020 Beveridge & Diamond PC National Law Review, Volume III, Number 181



About this Author

Karen M. Hansen Water Regulation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Austin, TX

Karen Hanson’s practice focuses on the Clean Water Act and state programs for regulating and permitting water discharges and water supply/use, and on environmental, health, and safety audit review and implementation. 

She has extensive experience assisting industrial and municipal clients in preparing strategies for and pursuing water permits for ongoing operations, expansions and new operations, including permit challenges. Karen also represents clients that must defend CWA and state water law enforcement actions, including claims pursued by governmental as well as third party...

Madeleine Boyer Environmental Attorney Beveridge Diamond

Maddie brings 25 years of experience providing strategic and solutions-oriented counseling and representation on a broad range of US and Latin American environmental, health and safety standards.

Her portfolio includes environmental regulatory counseling; audit oversight and support; supply chain and product stewardship advocacy and compliance; and high-stakes enforcement matters. Her domestic caseload currently includes air and waste matters before the US Department of Justice, the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Texas, the US Environmental...

Laura L. LaValle Clean Air Act Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Austin, TX
Office Managing Principal

Laura's practice has focused on Clean Air Act matters for over 20 years.

Laura's air quality experience includes advising and representing entities on a broad range of permitting, compliance, and policy issues. She has represented chemical manufacturing operations, electric utilities, petroleum refineries, oil and gas pipelines and terminal facilities, alternative/renewable energy operations including solar energy projects, landfills and waste combustors, steel manufacturing facilities, mining operations, and other facility types regarding federal and state permitting and compliance...

Bryan J. Moore Environmental Permitting Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Austin, TX

Bryan helps industrial, commercial, and oil and gas industry clients navigate and resolve contested environmental permitting proceedings, compliance audits, enforcement actions, and litigation so they can construct, operate, and expand their facilities. 

Whether in the substantive area of waste, water, or air regulation, Bryan provides comprehensive representation and strategic counseling from the agency rulemaking and permitting process to the administrative hearing and, ultimately, before the court to which an appeal may be taken.  Bryan...