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Manatee County v. Train

Citation: 8 ELR 20851
No. No. 76-4115, 583 F.2d 179/12 ERC 1436/(5th Cir., 11/03/1978)

In a suit seeking an order directing the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to increase federal funding from 33 percent to 75 percent of the cost of construction of a municipal sewage treatment plant, the court affirms the district court's granting of summary judgment to the plaintiff county. In 1971 the defendant Agency awarded plaintiff a grant of 33 percent of the cost of construction of a sewage treatment plant pursuant to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA). Section 202 of the FPWCA Amendments of 1972 increased the amount for which the county was eligible to 75 percent of the cost, provided that the state water pollution control agency certify the need for the facility. This certification was subsequently issued by the appropriate state agency, thereby giving rise to a mandatory duty on the part of the Administrator to furnish the increased rate of funding. The court thus rejects the Agency's claim that because the state's certification of need was spurious, additional federal funding could be withheld. The Administrator's discretion under the Act may be exercised only when considering applications for grants, not in determining the level of funding to be provided. A concurring opinion states that if the statute as applied in this case unwisely permits state and local agencies to take advantage of the federal government, it is up to Congress and not the courts to make responsive changes in the law.

Counsel for Appellant
Carl Strass
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2720

Counsel for Appellee
Warren M. Goodrich, Paul E. Logan
Holland & Knight
406 13th St., W., Bradenton FL 33505
(813) 746-7107

Before RONEY, TJOFLAT and HILL, Circuit Judges.