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RITE—Research Improves the Env't v. Costle

Citation: 11 ELR 20928
No. No. 76-1848-CIV-WMH, 78 F.R.D. 321/11 ERC 1379/(S.D. Fla., 02/21/1978)

The district court holds that plaintiff lacks standing to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) denial of permission to the city of Miami Beach, Florida to construct a research project under the Federal Water Pollution control Act (FWPCA) to demonstrate "deep current assimilation" sewage disposal. The court finds that there are four separate tests that must be met before standing can be granted: (1) plaintiff must have suffered or will suffer an injury-in-fact, (2) plaintiff must arguably be within the zone of interests protected by the FWPCA, (3) some alleged injury must result from EPA's actions, and (4) the alleged injury must be likely to be redressed by a favorable decision. Noting that "injury in fact" is a requirement of Article III of the U.S. Constitution and must be demonstrated in every case, the court concludes that the plaintiff has not demonstrated such a "personal stake in the outcome of the controversy . . . as to warrant its invocation of federal jurisdiction" or that it has suffered injury in fact. In particular, plaintiff's alleged injuries from a "lack of opportunity to learn the results of a deep current assimilation project" are too speculative. Moreover, the court is unwilling to speculate that if it were to hold that the project was an authorized alternative under the FWPCA, that the city would be willing and ble to go through with the project. Thus, even if plaintiff has demonstrated an injury-in-fact, it has not demonstrated that its injury would "likely be redressed by a favorable decision."

Counsel are listed at 11 ELR 20825