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United States v. United Park City Mines Co.

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20214
Nos. 18-4110, (10th Cir., 09/16/2020)

The Tenth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling ordering mining and finance companies to comply with EPA's requests for information related to cleanup of a contaminated site in Utah. The companies argued that EPA exceeded its authority under CERCLA when it issued the information requests, the requests were not reasonably relevant to the legislative purposes of CERCLA as required by the Fourth Amendment, the district court erred by enjoining them to answer all of the Agency's requests even though they had already answered most of them, and the district court's injunction ordering them to answer the requests violated Rule 65(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The court found multiple undisputed facts that could reasonably have led EPA to question whether the mining company's relationship with the finance company was at least partially responsible for its alleged failure to meet its work and payment obligations under its administrative order on consent, that the requests were undoubtedly relevant, that EPA's insistence on certified responses to all of its requests was neither arbitrary nor capricious, and that the district court did not abuse its discretion in issuing the injunction. It therefore affirmed the district court's order.