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Sarasota, City of v. EPA

Citation: 17 ELR 20149
No. No. 85-3637, 799 F.2d 674/25 ERC 1023/(11th Cir., 09/15/1986)

The court holds that a city's action seeking to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve its plan for eliminating wastewater discharge is not a money claim over which the Claims Court has jurisdiction. EPA had objected to the plan, which would involve spreading treated wastewater effluent over agricultural lands through an irrigation spray system rather than discharging it into Sarasota Bay, on the grounds that the plan's costs outweighed the water quality benefits. The court holds the district court has jurisdiction to hear Sarasota's claim seeking to compel EPA to approve its plan. Although the city's ultimate goal is to obtain funding for its proposal, the claim challenges the criteria under which EPA rejected the plan. Agreeing with the Third Circuit in Fairview Township v. Environmental Protection Agency, 15 ELR 20951, the court observes that a decision in the city's favor would not automatically entitle it to the funds; rather, the best it can hope for is a remand to the agency with instructions to reconsider the application.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellant
Christopher L. Rissetto
Wickwire, Gavin & Gibbs
4th Fl., 8230 Boone Bldg., Vienna VA 22180
(703) 790-8750

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
John T. Stahr, Dirk D. Snel
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4400

Before HILL, Circuit Judge, HENDERSON* and BROWN**, Senior Circuit Judges.