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Northern Plains Resource Council v. EPA

Citation: 12 ELR 20427
No. No. 79-7618, 670 F.2d 847/17 ERC 1343/(9th Cir., 03/01/1982) Attorneys fees awarded

The court awards attorneys fees in a case in which it previously, 11 ELR 20635, upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) issuance of a prevention of significant deterioration permit under the Clean Air Act. The 14-day deadline set forth in Rule 39 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure for filing bills of costs does not render petitioner's fee request untimely. Although petitioner did not prevail on the merits, the issues it raised were matters of first impression in the Ninth Circuit and important to the construction of the Act. Because the suit was brought more to protect air resources than to preserve petitioner's property interests, it is precisely the kind of case in which an award of fees is appropriate. After noting that EPA is not entitled to contribution from the prevailing intervenors, the court grants petitioner 14 days in which to specify and document the amount of the award it seeks.

Counsel for Petitioner
James A. Patten
Northern Plains Resource Council
419 Stapleton Bldg., Billings MT 59101
(406) 248-1154

Counsel for Respondent
Elizabeth Stein
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4160

Before TANG, SCHROEDER and NELSON, Circuit Judges.