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Sunnyside Gold Corp. v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20040
Nos. 16-1417, (D.C. Cir., 03/06/2018)

The D.C. Circuit dismissed a mining company's lawsuit challenging EPA's decision to place the entire Bonita Peak Mining District, located in Colorado's Mineral Belt, on the NPL. The mining company owns a mine located in the district, but its mine was not one of the sites scored under the hazard ranking system EPA uses to determine whether a site should be listed. It argued that all of the sites should be scored in order to place the entire district on the NPL. But under the hazard ranking system, a site “may include multiple sources and may include the area between sources.” A “source,” by contrast, is any area "where a hazardous substance has been deposited, stored, disposed, or placed.” Here, the entire district is a site composed of 19 scored sources and the areas "between" them, which the hazard ranking system explicitly permits. The company's mine therefore did not need to be scored.