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Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA

Citation: 12 ELR 20302
No. Nos. 80-1607 et al., 673 F.2d 400/17 ERC 1007/(D.C. Cir., 03/02/1982) Motions to dismiss denied

The court holds that the portion of the Environmental Protection Agency's consolidated permit regulations (CPRs) relating to the national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) is reviewable in the courts of appeals. Section 509(b)(1)(E) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) authorizes only the courts of appeals to review the promulgation of "any effluent limitation or other limitation" under §§ 301, 302, or 306 of the FWPCA. The court holds that this section does not limit the courts of appeals' jurisdiction to numerical limitations but applies to other limitations as well. Thus, the court has jurisdiction to review the CPRs, which establish procedures and general policies for issuing NPDES permits. The court also rejects petitioner's argument that due process concerns require a narrower interpretation of § 509(b)(1) and (2). While it is possible that the 90-day statute of limitations for challenging the CPRs may preclude challenges to the CPRs in enforcement proceedings, each polluter will have participated in a permit proceeding and thus be on notice of its duties under the CPRs. To the extent, if any, that some individuals remain unaware of the CPRs, they may raise constitutional challenges in enforcement or permit proceedings.

Counsel for Petitioner
Ronald J. Wilson
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
1735 I St. NW, Rm. 600, Washington DC 20006
(202) 223-8210

Counsel for Respondent
Alan W. Eckert
Office of the General Counsel
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 382-4134

Donald W. Stever Jr., Elizabeth Stein, David T. Buente Jr., Anthony C. Liotta
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-5290

Counsel for Intervenors
Gene W. Lafitte, J. Berry St. John Jr., George J. Domas, Robert E. Holden
Liskow & Lewis
50th Floor, One Shell Sq., New Orleans LA 70139
(504) 581-7979

Before BAZELON, Senior Circuit Judge, and MIKVA and GINSBURG, Circuit Judges.