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McCormick v. Anschutz Mining Corp.

Citation: 19 ELR 20902
No. No. S 88-97 C(5), 29 ERC 1707/(E.D. Mo., 01/30/1989)

The court holds that plaintiffs in a citizen suit failed to state a claim against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because EPA does not have a nondiscretionary duty to investigate citizen complaints of violations under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The CERCLA and EPCRA provisions cited in plaintiffs' complaint do not require EPA or its administrator to take any particular action. The court next holds that defendant Missouri Emergency Response Commission (MERC) did not violate the informational requirements of EPCRA. Plaintiffs never made a request for information from MERC and the Southeast Missouri Planning Commission promised to forward any reports received from defendant mining company to plaintiffs in response to their request for information. The court finally holds that two of the plaintiffs lack standing to bring suit against defendant mining company because they have not been injured by the alleged discharge of pollutants from Anschutz's mine. The possibility that one of the plaintiffs will be exposed to future liability because he was in charge of the mine's refinery until it was closed was not sufficient to confer standing.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
H. Byron Mock
1282 Gilmer Dr., Salt Lake City UT 84105
(801) 583-0255

Counsel for Defendants
Richard Oertli
Armstrong, Teasdal, Schlafly, Davis & Dicus
One Metropolitan Sq., Ste 2600, St. Louis MO 63101
(314) 621-5070

W. Christian Schumann
Land and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 272-8482