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Waste Management of Ill., Inc. v. EPA

Citation: 19 ELR 21465
No. No. 88 C 2797, 714 F. Supp. 340/30 ERC 1052/(N.D. Ill., 04/17/1989)

The court holds that only the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to hear a landfill owner's challenge of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) determination that a state-issued Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit is inconsistent with RCRA. Although 28 U.S.C. § 1331 grants district courts broad jurisdiction to decide cases raising federal questions, this jurisdiction can be narrowed if another statute vests jurisdiction in a particular court. RCRA § 7006(a)(1) vests jurisdiction to review EPA's RCRA regulations in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. Here, the landfill owner challenges on both constitutional and statutory grounds the validity of 40 C.F.R. § 271.19, the EPA regulation authorizing EPA intervention in state-issued RCRA permits. The court observes that the case law in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals is ambiguous, but concludes that [19 ELR 21466] RCRA § 7006 assigns jurisdiction to the District of Columbia Circuit over constitutional challenges to RCRA regulations in addition to statutory challenges. A settlement agreement reached in 1981 resolving previous challenges to 40 C.F.R. § 271.19 does not affect issues of jurisdiction, and there will be no need for factfinding in considering this challenge. The court transfers the case to the District of Columbia Circuit.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Angus MacBeth, Peggy L. O'Brien
Sidley & Austin
One First National Plaza, Chicago IL 60603
(312) 853-7000

Counsel for Defendants
Gail C. Ginsberg, Ass't U.S. Attorney
1500 S. Everett M. Dickson Bldg., 219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago IL 60604
(312) 353-5300

Kaye A. Allison
Land and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 2611, Ben Franklin Station, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2000