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Wagner Seed Co. v. Dagget

ELR Citation: 16 ELR 21001
Nos. No. 86-6032, 800 F.2d 310/24 ERC 1916/(2d Cir., 09/10/1986) Aff'd

The court rules that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) does not authorize preenforcement judicial review of the merits of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) §106 orders. The court first rules that courts lack jurisdiction to review EPA's remedial actions and the applicability of statutory defenses prior to EPA enforcement.

The court next rules that it does have jurisdiction to consider whether CERCLA §106 is unconstitutional as violative of the procedural due process right to seek judicial review without risking enormous fines and penalties. Noting that CERCLA §§106(b) and 107(c)(3) make the imposition of penalties subject to judicial discretion, and that CERCLA §106(b) includes a good-faith defense, the court finds no due process violation. The court also finds that the good-faith defense preserves constitutional due process against claims of wrongful taking of private property.

[The lower court opinion below appears at 16 ELR 20366.]

Counsel are listed at 16 ELR 20366.

Before Kaufman and Timbers, JJ.