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Pennwalt Corp. v. EPA

Citation: 11 ELR 20762
No. No. 80-2400, (E.D. Pa., 04/10/1981)

The court refuses to enjoin the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using data submitted by plaintiff in evaluating a pesticide registration application submitted by another applicant under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) but does enjoin EPA from disclosing trade secrets submitted by plaintiff in connection with its own application under FIFRA. Despite a stipulation between the parties that provides that plaintiff has a property interest in the data, the court determines, relying on a recent Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision, that data submitters do not have a common-law property interest in material submitted voluntarilv to a federal agency in order to obtain a license to sell products in interstate commerce, that the stipulation does not provide that plaintiff has a property interest in the Agency's nonuse of the data. In granting the motion for a preliminary injunction, the court notes that the data is extremely valuable because of the amount of time and money invested in its generation and that disclosure under § 10 of FIFRA would compromise the data's greatest value — its confidentiality. It finds that plaintiff has demonstrated irreparable injury, reasonable likelihood of success on the merits, and that the potential harm to EPA and the public is outweighed by the potential harm to plaintiff.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Aaron C. F. Finkbiner III, Bradford F. Whitman
Dechert, Price & Rhoads
3400 Centre Square West, 1500 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19102
(215) 972-3862

Counsel for Defendants
James Sheehan, U.S. Attorney
3310 U.S. Cthse; 610 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19106
(215) 597-2556

Patrick J. Cafferty
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-5289

Dennis Carluzzo
Office of the General Counsel
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 755-2511