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Deltona Corp. v. Hoffman

ELR Citation: 7 ELR 20224
Nos. No. 76-473, 9 ERC 1942/(M.D. Fla., 01/20/1977)

The court grants the motions of four environmental groups to intervene as defendants as a matter of right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) in a suit challenging the denial of permit applications for dredging and filling mangrove swamps in Marco Island, Florida. Members of these four groups use the wetlands in question and the marine ecosystem of which they are a part for research, wildlife observation, and fishing, interests that are protected by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 and the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. If the relief sought by plaintiff in this action is granted and dredging is permitted, intervenors' interests will be substantially and irrevocably injured. The four environmental groups participated as party opponents to the permit applicant in the administrative proceedings below, while the defendant agency merely acted as an arbiter receiving evidence from both sides before making a final decision. These organizations are thus in better position to take an advocate's role in presenting evidence to this court on the complex scientific questions at issue. The court holds that the environmental groups have also satisfied the requirements of Rule 24(b) for permissive intervention in this case and concludes that intervention will not unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties.

Counsel for Plaintiff
L. Grant Peeples, William L. Earl, Robert H. Blank
Peeples, Earl & Blank
One Biscayne Tower, Suite 3636, Two South Biscayne Blvd., Miami FL 33131
(305) 358-3000

Counsel for Federal Defendants
John L. Briggs, U.S. Attorney; Robert S. Yerkes, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 600, Jacksonville FL 32201
(904) 791-2682

Fred R. Disheroon
Department of Justice
Washington DC 20530
(202) 737-8200

Counsel for Intervening Defendants
Kenneth F. Hoffman
Rogers, Bailey, Jones & Gay
Florida Title Bldg., Jacksonville FL 32202
(904) 356-3911

Edward Thompson, Jr., William A. Butler, James T.B. Tripp
Environmental Defense Fund, Inc.
1525 18th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 833-1484