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Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. v. Hladick

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20097
Nos. 3:19-cv-00265-SLG, 3:19-cv-00267-SLG, and 3:19-cv-00268-SLG, (D. Alaska, 04/17/2020) (Gleason, J.)

A district court dismissed a challenge to EPA's decision to withdraw proposed restrictions pursuant to CWA §404(c) for the proposed Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska. Nonprofit groups argued the decision was arbitrary and capricious, in violation of the APA. EPA argued the exercise of its authority under §404(c) was akin to an enforcement action and thus that the withdrawal decision was presumptively unreviewable. The court found that EPA's decision not to take an enforcement action was not subject to judicial review, and that the text of the CWA committed the decision to withdraw a proposed determination to the Agency's discretion. It therefore granted EPA's motion to dismiss.