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Florida Power & Light Co. v. Costle

Citation: 12 ELR 21071
No. No. 80-5314, 683 F.2d 941/17 ERC 2055/(5th Cir., 08/27/1982) Attorneys fees awarded

The court rules that § 307(f) of the Clean Air Act authorizes the award of attorneys fees to a prevailing corporate litigant. The court first rules that the language of § 307(f) and its legislative history support the award of fees. Petitioner's litigation, 11 ELR 20836, helped to assure the proper implementation and administration of the Act. Moreover, the court finds no indication in the statute or its legislative history that Congress intended to limit attorneys fees to public interest groups or to deny them to solvent organizations which have an economic interest in the outcome of the litigation. Finally, the court rules that the company is entitled under § 307(f) to fees only for the judicial proceedings and declines to award fees for litigation of the attorneys fees issue itself.

Counsel for Petitioner
William H. Green
Hopping, Boyd, Green & Sams
P.O. Box 6526, Tallahassee FL 32301
(904) 222-7500

Counsel for Respondents
Elizabeth Stein
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2750

Counsel for Amicus Curiae State of Florida
John C. Bottcher, Deputy General Counsel
Department of Environmental Regulation
Twin Towers Office Bldg., 2600 Blair Stone Rd., Tallahassee FL 32301
(904) 488-9730

Before TJOFLAT, HATCHETT and THOMAS A. CLARK, Circuit Judges.