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California v. Kleppe

Citation: 8 ELR 20359
No. No. CV 76-3406-RMT, (C.D. Cal., 04/06/1978)

The court finds that corporate defendants' counterclaim challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulatory jurisdiction over an offshore oil storage and treatment facility (OS&T) is not ripe for adjudication. EPA has made an initial determination that defendant Exxon's OS&T requires a new source permit under the Clean Air Act. Defendants' counterclaim that the OS&T operation is regulable only by the Secretary of the Interior under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act is not ripe under the Supreme Court's guidelines in Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner because EPA has not finally determined to assert regulatory authority over the facility. The hardship to Exxon in delaying adjudication of the counterclaim is outweighed by the hardship to EPA should its administrative decision be judicially shortcut. Moreover, even if the counterclaim were ripe, jurisdiction to review this issue properly lies only in the courts of appeals under the Clean Air Act § 307(b)(1), ELR STAT. & REG. 42257.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Evelle J. Younger, Attorney General
600 State Bldg., San Francisco CA 94102
(415) 557-0269

Counsel for Defendant United States
Irwin L. Schroeder; James B. Moorman, Ass't Attorney General
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2730

Counsel for Corporate Defendants
McCutchen, Black, Verleger & Shea
3435 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90010
(213) 381-3411