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Environmental Defense Fund v. EPA

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 21178
Nos. No. 86-1528, 852 F.2d 1309/27 ERC 1102/(D.C. Cir., 07/29/1988)

The court holds that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) decision to exempt extraction and beneficiation mining wastes from regulation as hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was not arbitrary and capricious. EPA determined not to regulate these wastes as hazardous waste under RCRA Subtitle C, but to develop a regulatory program under less stringent RCRA Subtitle D, which applies to solid wastes that do not qualify as hazardous. EPA reasonably concluded that a 1980 amendment to RCRA known as the Bevill Amendment does not require it to regulate under Subtitle C any waste that qualifies as hazardous. The structure and legislative history of the Bevill Amendment's mining waste exclusion indicate that hazardousness was just one factor for EPA to consider in its decision to regulate mining wastes under Subtitle C. The statute also allows EPA to consider the economic impact of regulation on the mining industry.

[A companion case is published at 18 ELR 21169.]

Counsel for Petitioners
Robert V. Percival
Environmental Defense Fund, Inc.
1616 P St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 387-3500

David R. Case
Hazardous Waste Treatment Council
1440 New York Ave. NW, Washington DC 20005
(202) 783-0870

Counsel for Respondents
Roger J. Marzulla, Scott A. Schachter
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2455

Margaret B. Silver
Environmental Protection Agency
401 M St. SW, Washington DC 20460
(202) 382-7706

Counsel for Intervenors
John N. Hanson, Donald J. Patterson Jr., Edward M. Green, Roderick T. Dwyer
American Mining Congress
1920 N St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036
(202) 861-2800

Before: MIKVA and SILBERMAN, Circuit Judges, and OBERDORFER,[*] District Judge.