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American Littoral Soc'y v. Kleppe

Citation: 8 ELR 20225
No. No. CV-76-1188-MML, 11 ERC 1237, 1272/(C.D. Cal., 11/04/1977)

The court rejects defendants' motion to dismiss a suit challenging the Department of the Interior's national program of outer continental shelf (OCS) oil and gas lease sales and Lease Sale No. 35 off southern California in particular and gives plaintiffs leave to amend the complaint by deleting issues dealing with Lease Sale No. 35, which are barred by res judicata under a previous decision of this court. The court holds that claims respecting the national program are not barred by res judicata because it may have environmental consequences of particular concern to plaintiffs beyond those arising from Lease Sale No. 35. Further, the court rejects defendants' argument that no case or controversy is presented by a federal agency's decision to embark on a program of resource development apart from its localized effect, viewing the opinion of the Supreme Court in Kleppe v. Sierra Club, 6 ELR 20532, as approving judicial intervention after an agency has developed a full program. In order to clarify the issues for further prosecution of the case, plaintiffs may amend their complaint by deleting references to Lease Sale No. 35.

The court subsequently dismisses the action on the merits because plaintiffs failed to amend the complaint within the specified time period.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Bruce Terris
1526 18th St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 332-1882

Brent Rushforth
Center for Law in the Public Interest
10203 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90067
(213) 879-5588

Counsel for Defendants
William Cohen
Land & Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2775

Robert Pope
Covington & Burling
888 16th St. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 452-6092