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Orange Env't v. Orange, County of

ELR Citation: 23 ELR 21056
Nos. No. 91 Civ. 8688 (GLG), 817 F. Supp. 1051/36 ERC 1983/(S.D.N.Y., 03/17/1993) Intervention

The court holds that a county legislature has no independent standing to intervene in an action involving alleged Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) violations at the county's landfill. The legislature moved to intervene as a necessary party under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) after the county executive and county attorney had decided not to appeal an adverse decision concerning the alleged violations. The court holds that the legislature has no independent standing to intervene, because it was unable to demonstrate actual or threatened injury to its interests. The litigation does not concern the legislature, but rather the interests of the county as a whole such that the real party in interest is the people of the county, not the county legislature. Moreover, the county charter's explicit structure empowers the county attorney to direct litigation involving matters in which the county is the real party in interest. The court holds that the legislature has not satisfied the criteria for intervention pursuant to Rule 24(a), because the county has not overcome the presumption of adequate representation by showing that its interests are different than those of the county and that its interests will not be represented by the county. The court finds that there is no divergence between the legislature's interests and the broader public interests of the county regarding the FWPCA violations.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Michael H. Sussman
25 Main St., Goshen NY 10924
(914) 294-3991
Jeffrey P. Soons
Soons Circle, New Hampton NY 10958
(914) 374-5471

Counsel for Intervenor-Plaintiff
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Natural Resources Defense Council
40 W. 20th St., New York NY 10111
(212) 727-2700

Counsel for Intervenor-Defendant
James G. Sweeney
Shamberg, Marwell, Cherneff, Hocherman, Davis & Hollis
90 Crystal Run Rd., Middletown NY 10940
(914) 692-3600