Dow Chemical V. US (1986)
Dow Chemical company is presently efforting to reduce the CO2 emissions, increase fuel efficiency of vehicles which run with diesel engines. Dow Chemical has been successful in developing Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) technology that enhances the quality and efficiency of diesel engines in vehicles.
Facts of the case
It was stated in the petition that Dow Chem operates on a 2,000-acre chemical plant which consists of numerous buildings with manufacturing equipment and piping conduits fixed between the various buildings. Around the premises, there was heavy security maintained by Dow Chem, the respective petitioner.
Issue – What is the case about?
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appointed a commercial photographer to take photographs of the area from all altitudes as a part of aerial photography. As a matter of fact, Dow Chem denied this particular activity of EPA which is why a suit was filed in Federal District Court against EPA stating that EPA violated the Fourth Amendment and exercised the powers beyond its statutes.
Federal District Court stated that EPA violated Fourth Amendment by entering premises whereas Court of Appeals stated that as per Section114(a) of Clean Air Act, EPA has right to enter premises for inspection purposes [475 U.S.227,228].
Dow chem feared about the reveal of trade secrets which are supposed to be confidential and particularly photographs of aerial space, complex premises were of a great matter of concern for the Dow chemical plant whereas EPA considered only the premises of open area of the plant as a part of inspection and safety measures and not to violate any trade laws or statutory laws.
U.S. Supreme Court
DOW CHEMICAL CO. v. UNITED STATES, 476 U.S. 227 (1986)
476 U.S. 227
Accessed February 11, 2008