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Chevron Chem. Co. v. Costle

Citation: 8 ELR 20362
No. Nos. C-76-1552-WWS et al., 443 F. Supp. 1024/(N.D. Cal., 01/25/1978)

The court denies defendant's motion for summary judgment and remands to the Environmental Protection Agency a case in which plaintiff seeks injunctive and declaratory relief against the proposed public release of test data submitted in support of applications for certificates of registration for certain pesticides. The Administrator's determination that all such test data shall be presumptively eligible for disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act is inconsistent with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act as constured in light of its legislative history. Although the disclosure provisions of §3(c) of the Act may appear mandatory in effect, they must not be read to render meaningless §10, which directs the Administrator, prior to the disclosure of any test data, to determine whether any portion of the data may qualify as trade secrets and therefore be entitled to confidentiality. The court declines to make this determination with respect to plaintiff's submissions absent agency consideration of the question and accordingly remands the case with instructions to identify those data entitled to trade secret status.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Anthony P. Brown, James N. Roethe, Patrick L. Finley
Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro
Standard Oil Bldg., 225 Bush St., San Francisco CA 94101
(415) 983-1000

Counsel for Defendant
Barbara Allen Babcock, Ass't Attorney General; Bruce E. Titus, Paul F. Figley
Civil Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 737-3413