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Wells v. United States

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 21308
Nos. No. 87-5124, 851 F.2d 1471/28 ERC 1156/(D.C. Cir., 07/19/1988) Aff'd

The court holds that the Federal Tort Claims Act's discretionary function exception bars an action by residents of the Dallas, Texas, area alleging that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) negligently failed to regulate lead pollution from three local lead smelters or warn of the hazards. The EPA Deputy Administrator's decision to conduct further studies while refusing to take immediate remedial action or to accept a cleanup offer from one of the lead companies was based on economic, social, and political policy considerations, not solely on scientific considerations. This decision thus involved the exercise of discretion and is shielded from liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

[The district court decision is published at 17 ELR 20830.]

Counsel for Appellants
Charles S. Siegel
Baron & Budd
Dallas Federal Savings Tower, 10th Fl., Dallas TX 75225
(214) 369-3605

Counsel for Appellee
Gregory C. Sisk
Civil Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4825

Before: ROBINSON and EDWARDS, Circuit Judges, and MACKINNON, Senior Circuit Judge.