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Natural Resources Defense Council v. Fri

Citation: 5 ELR 20173
No. No. 849-73, 7 ERC 1346/(D.D.C., 12/06/1974) Awarding attorneys fees

The court rules that plaintiff's suit against EPA, which resulted in a consent judgment and a stipulated timetable for the promulgation of guidelines and regulations mandated by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, presents an appropriate instance for an award of attorneys' fees under § 505(d) of the statute. Section 505 clearly permits recovery of such fees in cases challenging EPA's failure to promulgate standards required under the FWPCA, as well as in suits seeking to enforce standards already established by the agency. Plaintiff in this case has served a valuable function by forcing EPA to promulgate overdue regulations which might otherwise have been delayed even longer. In determining the amount of the award, however, the court finds that a number of hours attributed to this litigation by plaintiff's counsel were spent on matters equally relevant to other areas of NRDC's interest in policing environmental laws, and therefore discounts the hours shown by plaintiff's counsel by 45 percent and awards a fee of $3811.51.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Ronald J. Wilson
810 18th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006

J. G. Speth
Richard Hall
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
1710 N Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

Counsel for Defendants
James A. Glasgow
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530