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Natural Resources Defense Council v. Train

Citation: 5 ELR 20401
No. No. 1629-73, 396 F. Supp. 1393/7 ERC 1881/(D.D.C., 03/24/1975)

The EPA Administrator acted illegally in exempting discharges from certain classes of point sources including storm sewers, silvicultural facilities, relatively small animal confinement facilities, and irrigation return flows, from the Nation Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements of § 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. The language of the statute does not support the categorical exemptions granted by the Administrator, and judicial decisions interpreting the FWPCA, in conjunction with an examination of its legislative history, reinforce plaintiff's contention that all discharges by point sources were intended to be covered by a permit. The court does not accept the Administrator's contention that the permit program would be unmanageable without these exemptions since there appear to be alternatives available to EPA for reducing the permit workload.

Counsel for Plaintiff
J. G. Speth
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
917 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005

Counsel for Federal Defendants
Lloyd S. Guerci
Pollution Control Section
Land & Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Counsel for Intervening Defendants, National Forest Products Assn., National Livestock Feeders Assn., National Milk Producers Federation, State of Washington, State of Colorado, and Colorado River Water Conservation District
Charles W. Bills
Cross, Murphy & Smith
1128 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

James E. Lurie
Martin, Moore, Thaler & Whitfield
1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006

Theodore O. Trove Asst. Attorney General
Temple of Justice
Olympia, Washington 98504

Irving B. Nathan
Arnold & Porter
1229 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

William Tucker Asst. Attorney General
104 State Capitol
Denver, Colorado 80203

Robert L. McCarty
McCarty & Noone
1225 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036