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Alaska Community Action v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20102
Nos. 12-1299, (D.D.C., 05/07/2013) (Bates, J.)

A district court dismissed as time barred environmental groups' CWA and APA claims challenging EPA's list of dispersants and other projects that may be used in the event of an oil spill. The groups asserted that the list, called the NCP Product Schedule, fails to specify the waters or quantities in which listed products may be used. But the court ruled that the time for bringing suit has long since passed. In 1984 EPA announced its decision not to specify the waters or quantities in which listed products could be used. EPA's choice not to limit the use of listed products to pre-specified waters and quantities marked the "consummation" of the agency's decision process and was one from which legal consequences flowed—had EPA chosen to specify waters and quantities on the NCP Product Schedule, the product schedule would look different than it does today, and decisionmakers' flexibility in responding to future oil spills would have been curtailed. Hence, EPA's 1984 decision was a final agency action and subject to suit at that time.