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Huron Envtl. Activist League v. EPA

ELR Citation: 26 ELR 21085
Nos. 95-2124, 917 F. Supp. 34/(D.D.C., 02/28/1996)

The court holds that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not "utilize" a cement industry working group as an "advisory committee" within the meaning of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Although EPA determined the schedule and made other logistical arrangements for meetings with cement industry representatives, it did not exercise the level of influence necessary to establish that the group was subject to EPA's actual management or control. The court notes that EPA has yet to use the industry proposal developed over the course of meetings between industry representatives and the Agency. Moreover, even if EPA does utilize the proposal, it would not transform the industry group into a federal advisory committee. The group was not established at EPA's prompting. The cement industry requested a meeting with EPA when it forwarded its proposal regarding the regulation of cement kiln product. Furthermore, the industry group lacks a fixed membership and the requisite formality and structure of an advisory committee. The court holds that the cement industry representatives may intervene as of right because any injunctive relief would likely eviscerate the group's substantial work product and would establish a rule of law unfavorable to the group. In the alternative, the court grants the group permissive intervention. The movants' defenses to the plaintiffs' claims have both questions of law and fact in common with the main action, and intervention would not unduly delay the adjudication of the rights of the original parties.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Eli D. Eilbott
Environmental Technology Council
915 15th St. NW, Washington DC 20005
(202) 783-0870

Counsel for Defendant
Eric F. Goulian
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000