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South Holland Metal Finishing Co. v. Browner

ELR Citation: 27 ELR 20325
Nos. 95-1657, 97 F.3d 932/(7th Cir., 10/03/1996)

The court holds that it lacks jurisdiction under the Federal Water Pollution Control §509(b)(1)(C) to review a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) interpretive ruling that an electroplating company's move to a nearby building resulted in a "new source" of pollution subject to more stringent environmental regulations. Although formal category determinations are reviewable, the fact that both an interpretive ruling and a category determination provide insight into EPA's views on the issue does not transform the former into the latter. Further, since Region V's letter containing the interpretive ruling has not been adopted by EPA, the ruling cannot be considered the Administrator's action. The ruling also cannot be considered "promulgated" because it lacks legal and precedential effect and did not appear in the Federal Register or the Code of Federal Regulations. Finally, the interpretive ruling is not an effluent standard, prohibition, or pretreatment standard, but rather an opinion concerning which pretreatment standard EPA would deem applicable.

Counsel for Petitioner
William A. Speary Jr.
Much, Shelist, Freed, Denenberg, Ament, Bell & Rubenstein
200 N. La Salle St., Ste. 2000, Chicago IL 60601
(312) 346-3100

Counsel for Respondent
Sylvia Quast
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

Before COFFEY, RIPPLE, and DIANE P. WOOD, Circuit Judges.