Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Defenders of Wildlife v. U.S. EPA

Apr 23: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 12-5112. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. As explained by the Appeals Court, Defenders of Wildlife and Sierra Club (collectively, Defenders) sued U.S. EPA based on EPA's alleged failure to promptly promulgate revisions to certain effluent limitations and effluent limitations guidelines under the Clean Water Act (CWA). When Defenders filed its complaint, it simultaneously filed a proposed consent decree -- signed by Defenders and EPA -- establishing a schedule for EPA to initiate notice-and comment rulemaking and make a formal decision whether to promulgate a new rule revising certain effluent limitations and effluent limitations guidelines. Utility Water Act Group (UWAG), an association of energy companies and three national trade associations of energy companies, moved to intervene but the district court denied UWAG's motion and entered the consent decree. UWAG appealed the denial of intervention and also asserts that -- "whatever our decision on the denial of intervention -- we should vacate the district court order entering the consent decree because the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. We disagree. We affirm the denial of intervention -- because UWAG lacks Article III standing -- and, as there is no appellant with standing, we dismiss the remainder of the appeal."
    Access the complete opinion (click here). [#Water, #CADC] [Note: WIMS is reporting on this decision at this time because it was overlooked during our recent Spring break.]
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