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Arc Ecology v. U.S. Maritime Admin.

Citation: 40 ELR 20026
No. No. 2:07-cv-2320, (E.D. Cal., 01/20/2010)

A district court denied environmental groups’ motion for partial summary judgment with respect to their claim that the United States’ maintenance of the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet violated EPA’s surface water criterion regulations promulgated pursuant to §4004(a) of RCRA. Although the United States conceded that each vessel of its fleet was discharging pollutants into navigable waters without a NPDES permit, it argued that the environmental groups were not authorized to bring a citizen suit under the surface water criterion because such criterion was only enforceable by states. The court agreed, finding that amendments made to the applicable 1981 EPA regulations precluded citizen suits and nothing in the 1996 amendments indicated any substantive change to the regulations. The court therefore lacked citizen suit jurisdiction over the claim.