Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Pritikin v. Department of Energy

ELR Citation: 31 ELR 20708
Nos. No. 99-35581, 254 F.3d 791/(9th Cir., 06/13/2001)

The court holds that an individual lacks standing to compel the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to make budget requests and to reprogram existing funds for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR's) implementation of a medical monitoring program in connection with a DOE facility listed on the national priorities list. The ATSDR had concluded that the DOE facility presented a significant increased risk of adverse health effects in humans from exposure to hazardous substances due to toxic waste at the site. Once this "significant risk" determination was made, the ATSDR was required to implement a medical monitoring program under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act §104(i)(9). The ATSDR has yet to do so. The court first holds that the ATSDR's failure to implement the medical monitoring program establishes cognizable injury. The court, however, holds that the individual failed to demonstrate causation or redressability of her injury. The individual failed to show how including funding for the ATSDR's medical monitoring program in DOE's budget request would result in the program actually being carried out. The individual's injury is manifestly the product of the independent action of the ATSDR, a third party not before the court. Although DOE is liable for the costs of the program, the ATSDR is responsible for implementing the program. Thus, her injury is not "fairly traceable" to DOE's actions. Moreover, requiring DOE to include the program in its budget request would not necessarily result in the ATSDR's implementation of that program. Thus, the individual could not demonstrate redressability.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Tom H. Foulds
Tom H. Foulds & Associated Counsel
703 6th Ave. N., Seattle WA 98109
(206) 285-8390

Counsel for Defendants
David C. Shilton
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

Wardlaw, J. Before Reinhardt and Gould, JJ.