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Safe Alternatives for Fruit Fly Eradication v. Berryhill

Citation: 14 ELR 20587
No. No. CV 84-1662 AWT, 22 ERC 1036/(C.D. Cal., 05/09/1984)

The court holds that a California fruit fly eradication program is not a major federal action under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and that plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the program under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. The court first holds that plaintiff municipalities lack standing to press a public health claim on behalf of their citizens. The court then rules that the spray program is not a major federal action under NEPA because federal involvement in the program is limited to a loan of equipment, supplies, and advisors. The state will ultimately bear all the costs of the program and make the major decisions of where and when to spray. Turning to plaintiffs' FIFRA claim, the court rules that neither FIFRA itself nor the Civil Rights Act create a citizen's cause of action for state violations of FIFRA. Likewise, plaintiffs may not press a claim for violation of FAA regulations governing aerial spraying.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Richard Sontag
2700 N. Main St., Santa Ana CA 92701
(714) 835-8808

Counsel for Defendants
George Wu, Ass't U.S. Attorney
312 N. Spring St., Los Angeles CA 90012
(213) 688-6684

Charles W. Getz IV, Roderick E. Walston
California Department of Justice
350 McAllister St., Rm. 6000, San Francisco CA 94102
(415) 557-2544