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National Wildlife Fed'n v. Agricultural Stabilization & Conservation Serv.

ELR Citation: 22 ELR 21012
Nos. No. 90-5483, 955 F.2d 1199/(8th Cir., 02/05/1992) Prior decision superseded

In an opinion superseding the court's prior decision in this case, 21 ELR 21474, the court holds that an environmental group has standing to sue and that amendments to the Food and Agricultural Act and Swampbuster provisions of the Food Security Act (Swampbuster) apply retroactively. The court first holds that the environmental group sufficiently established organizational standing because the affidavits submitted by group members sufficiently establish that they were adversely affected or aggrieved by the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service's (ASCS') action. The court then rules that Congress contemplated retroactive application of Swampbuster's new, explicit good-faith exemption from ineligibility provisions. The court holds that the new enforcement provisions of Swampbuster prevent it from disposing of the case because the new exemption, which only reduces the amount of eligibility, is decidedly different than that of the blanket exemption previously imposed by the ASCS. The ASCS must reconsider both the Swampbuster provisions and the Food and Agricultural Act and the interrelationship, if any, between the conflicting eligibility and exemption provisions. The court vacates the judgment of the district court and remands with instructions that it be further remanded to the Secretary of Agriculture for application of the statutes as amended.

[This opinion supersedes a previous decision in this case published at 21 ELR 21474.]

Counsel for Appellants
Anthony Turrini
750 W.2nd Ave., Ste. 200, Anchorage AK
(907) 349-7821

Counsel for Appellee
Catherine Fisk
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

Before WOLLMAN, Circuit Judge, FLOYD R. GIBSON, Senior Circuit Judge, and BEAM, Circuit Judge.