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Barnum Timber Co. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20088
Nos. No. 08-17715, (9th Cir., 02/03/2011)

The Ninth Circuit held that a timber company has standing to challenge EPA's decision to retain the Redwood Creek in Northern California as an impaired water body under CWA §303(d). The company has suffered a reduction in the economic value of its property in the Redwood Creek watershed, and the company submitted two declarations by forestry experts, testifying to the property value reductions. In addition, the company established a causal connection between its injury-in-fact and EPA's retention of Redwood Creek as an impaired water body. The company alleged specific facts plausibly explaining causality and supported by competent declarations. Lastly, the company's claim is redressable. If the company is ultimately successful in showing that EPA's listing of Redwood Creek was arbitrary or capricious, the district court would have the power under the APA to grant the declaratory judgment and injunctive relief the company requests—removing Redwood Creek from the §303(d) impaired water bodies list. Such removal would resolve the injury the company has allegedly experienced from its property's proximity to a §303(d) impaired water body.