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Kitlutsisti v. ARCO Alaska, Inc.

ELR Citation: 16 ELR 20363
Nos. Nos. 84-4128 et al., 782 F.2d 800/24 ERC 1951/(9th Cir., 02/11/1986) Appeal dismissed, district court decision vacated

The court rules that an appeal from a district court judgment in a citizen suit action under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act is mooted by completion of the action demanded below. The court observes that since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the offshore oil drilling national pollutant discharge elimination system permits required by the district court, and the injunction has now expired, there does not appear to be any controversy between the parties. The issues are not capable of repetition between the parties because this statutory deadline was unique. The fact that the legality of drilling permits in other regions of Alaska and California may be questioned does not negate the case's mootness either, since such hypothetical permits are not at issue. The court vacates the judgment below and remands the case with a direction to dismiss. There is no evidence here to support appellees' claim that EPA or the other appellants changed their positions and mooted the case to avoid the preclusive effect of the district court's judgment. Finally, the court rules that appellees failed to present legal support for their request for partial preservation of the decree below.

[The district court opinion and order appear at 14 ELR 20691.]

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellees
Eric Smith
Trustees for Alaska
125 Christensen Dr., Suite 48 Anchorage AK 99501
(907) 276-4244

Counsel for Defendants
Thomas E. Meachem
Burr, Pease & Kurtz
810 N St., Anchorage AK 99501
(907) 276-6100

Martin W. Matzen, Barry S. Neuman, Jacques B. Gelin
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4426

Counsel for Intervenor-Defendant/Appellant
Brice M. Clagett, Bobby R. Burchfield
Covington & Burling
1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, P.O. Box 7566, Washington DC 20044
(202) 662-6000