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Chesapeake Bay Found. v. United States

Citation: 8 ELR 20450
No. No. 77-0376-R, 445 F. Supp. 1349/11 ERC 1475/(E.D. Va., 02/28/1978) dismissed in part

The court rules that it lacks jurisdiction to consider plaintiffs' challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) failure to object to state issuance of a national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit for a proposed petroleum refinery or to withdraw approval of the entire state permit program. It finds jurisdiction, however, to decide whether the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires EPA or the state water control board to prepare an environmental impact statement in conjunction with the permit. The NEPA claim presents a federal question, and the court thus has jurisdiction to decide it under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Because the right to object to state-issued permits has been committed to agency discretion, the court has no jurisdiction to hear claims that EPA's failure to object to the permit violated the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Nor can the court review EPA's approval of the state permit program since jurisdiction to review such action lies exclusively in the court of appeals under § 509 of the Act.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Patrick M. McSweeney
Suite 1506, 700 E. Main St., Richmond VA 23219
(804) 643-5192

Bruce J. Terris
1526 18th St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 332-1882

Counsel for Defendants
Eliot Norman, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 1257, Richmond VA 23210
(804) 782-2186

Patrick J. Cafferty
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-5125

Steven Schatzow
Office of the General Counsel
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 426-4497

Daniel E. Evans, Ass't Attorney General
Supreme Court Bldg., Richmond VA 23219
(804) 786-2071