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Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA

Citation: 11 ELR 20011
No. Nos. 80-1607 et al., 673 F.2d 392/15 ERC 1157/(D.C. Cir., 11/04/1980)

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals rules that it is the proper court of venue for review of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 1980 consolidated permit regulations (CPRs) issued pursuant to four pollution control statutes. Three of the four statutes require exclusive judicial review of implementing regulations in the D.C. Circuit, but the Clean Water Act allows for review in any circuit court of appeals. In addition to challenges to the entire CPRs, several petitions for review of the national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES)-related portions of the CRPs were filed simultaneously in different courts of appeals. By law, venue is proper in the court of first filing, and challenges to "the same order" must be heard in one court of appeals. Ruling on EPA's request that the D.C. Circuit determine venue for the NPDES-related CPRs, the court holds that because only it can review most of the CPRs, venue for review of the entire set of regulations is proper in the D.C. Circuit. Since the CPRs, including the NPDES-related portions, were issued as a result of a single agency rule making with a single administrative record and implement interrelated rules, they are considered a single order for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2112(a). Furthermore, because the D.C. Circuit was one of the courts in which challenge to the CPRs were filed simultaneously, it is proper to consolidate all challenges in this court.

Counsel for Petitioner
Stephen Schroeder, James Banks, Ronald J. Wilson
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
1725 I St. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 223-8210

Counsel for Respondent
Alan W. Eckert, Richard G. Stoll Jr.
Office of the General Counsel
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 755-2511

Counsel for Intervenor Chemical Manufacturers Association
Theodore L. Garrett, John T. Smith II
Covington & Burling
888 16th St. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 452-6000

Before: MIKVA and EDWARDS, Circuit Judges (Chief Judge WRIGHT was a member of the panel, but did not participate.)