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Train v. Colorado Pub. Interest Research Group

ELR Citation: 6 ELR 20549
Nos. No. 74-1270, 426 U.S. 1/8 ERC 2057/(U.S., 06/01/1976) Rev'd

In a citizen suit brought under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) to require EPA to regulate radioactive discharges, the Court holds that radioactive effluents from Ft. St. Vrain Nuclear Generating Station and Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant are subject to regulation under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA) as "source material, special nuclear material, and byproduct material" and do not fall within the scope of "radioactive material" in the FWPCA's definition of water pollutants. Reversing the court of appeals' decision, 5 ELR 20043 (10th Cir. 1974), that had considered the FWPCA language "clear and unambiguous," the Court bases its decision on Senate debate on the FWPCA and its amendments, finding no congressional intention to overrule Northern State Power Co. v. Minnesota, 1 ELR 20451 (8th Cir. 1971). The Court also relies on House rejection of a proposed amendment to 33 U.S.C. §1370, ELR 41127, and on a congressional policy disfavoring collateral amendment of the AEA.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
David C. Mastbaum
1430 Larimer Square No. 407
Denver CO 80202

Richard Cotton
David E. Engdahl
4375 Butler Circle
Boulder CO 80303
(303) 831-6186

James L. Kurtz-Phelan
209 16th St.
Room 200
Denver CO 80202
(303) 333-7255

Counsel for Defendants
Robert H. Bork, Solicitor General
A. Raymond Randolph, Jr., Deputy Solicitor General
Wallace H. Johnson, Asst. Attorney General
Harriet S. Shapiro, Asst. to the Solicitor General
Department of Justice
Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2201

Robert V. Zener, General Counsel
Environmental Protection Agency
Washington DC 20460
(202) 755-2511

Marshall, J. for a unanimous Court.

MR. JUSTICE STEVENS took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.