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Grain Processing Corp. v. Train

Citation: 6 ELR 20200
No. No. 75-133-1, 407 F. Supp. 96/8 ERC 1561/(S.D. Iowa, 01/20/1976)

The Eighth Circuit originally decided, 5 ELR 20392, that the district court is the proper forum for this challenge to effluent guidelines established under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. Following a jurisdictional remand, the district court here invalidates EPA's single number effluent guidelines regulations for existing sources in the corn wet milling industry. The court interprets § 304(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the statute to requre such regulations to be "two-pronged. They should state the effluent reduction possible for the entire class or category of point sources within a given range and they should also analyze those factors deemed important for the writing of an individual permit within that range." Designation of a range of values and listing of factors to be considered by the permit issuer is particularly important for the corn wet milling industry, because its effluents vary widely with its varied products outputs. Moreover, EPA's single number approach makes state permitting agencies mere conduits, in violation of the Act's intent to share responsibility with the states. "The court therefore holds that the EPA exceeded its statutory authority and acted arbitrarily and capriciously (1) by using a single number standard rather than a range of numbers for the wet corn milling industry and (2) in failing to specify the factors to be utilized by the permit-issuing authorities in applying technology to a given plant environment in order to set its limitations." The EPA also failed to supply an adequate record to support the specific daily and 30-day limits imposed on the industry; therefore, its decision respecting these is also arbitrary and capricious. The EPA's guidelines for 1983 are invalid because the agency has not demonstrated the availability of the technology on which they are based. The court grants plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to the above matters. The case is remanded to EPA for entry of a final order within 120 days. The district court retains jurisdiction pending further agency action.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Robert C. Bernard
Charles F. Lettow
Mary J. Large
Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton
1250 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Washington DC 20036
(202) 223-2151

Herschel D. Langdon
Herrick, Langdon, Belin & Harris
300 Home Federal Building
Des Moines IA 50309
(515) 244-1116

Counsel for Defendants
Michael Carlton
Department of Justice
Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2793

Pamela Quinn
Environmental Protection Agency
Washington DC 20460
(202) 755-0760

Alan Donielson, U.S. Attorney
113 U.S. Courthouse
Des Moines IA 50309
(515) 284-4000