Tuesday, June 23, 2009

US v. Missouri Industrial Energy Consumers

Jun 22: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, Case No. 08-3404. The Missouri Industrial Energy Consumers (MIEC), an association of businesses formed to address its members' concerns about utility services, moved to intervene in an enforcement action filed against the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (District) by the United States and the State of Missouri under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The district court denied the motion for lack of standing. The Appeals Court affirmed the district court decision.

In its decision, the Appeals Court said, "Judicial efficiency is not promoted by allowing intervention by a party with no interest upon which it could seek judicial relief in a separate lawsuit. . . Not only would allowing MIEC to intervene produce no gains in judicial efficiency, it would most likely complicate and delay the proceedings with peripheral issues of cost and local government financing. Although MIEC would certainly like to participate in this enforcement action, 'a federal case is a limited affair, and not everyone with an opinion is invited to attend.'" [citing Mausolf, 85 F.3d at 1301]. . . MIEC has a representative on the District's Rate Commission which makes recommendations about rate changes and will have the opportunity to comment on any proposed rate increases during that public process. The type of grievances that MIEC asserts are properly advanced in these fora, not in this federal action."

Access the complete opinion (
click here).

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