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Rhode Island v. EPA

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20062
Nos. No. 04-1513, (1st Cir., 08/03/2004)

The First Circuit dismissed for lack of jurisdiction Rhode Island's interlocutory appeal of an EPA Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) decision denying the state's motion to intervene in an NPDES permit proceeding. As a matter of first impression in the circuit, the court held that the collateral order doctrine applies to agency determinations. Here, however, the order appealed from does not fit within the parameters of that doctrine. The EAB proceedings are ongoing, and Rhode Island's challenge to the intervention decision can (and should) be adjudicated at the conclusion of the administrative proceedings. Consequently, the claim fails to meet the unreviewability prong of the collateral order test.