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Natural Resources Defense Council v. Costle

ELR Citation: 7 ELR 20547
Nos. Nos. 76-1664, -1665, 561 F.2d 904/10 ERC 1209/(D.C. Cir., 06/15/1977) Intervention allowed

Rubber and chemical companies may intervene as of right in district court proceedings involving implementation of a settlement agreement requiring promulgation of industry-by-industry based effluent guidelines for the discharge of toxic substances. The lower court abused its discretion in holding that the motion to intervene was untimely since the original parties will not be burdened by the additional participation of intervenors who seek only to participate in a subsequent phase of the litigation. Further, the lower court should have found that denial of intervention would impair the companies' ability to protect their interest in the enforcement of valid regulations. Specifically, subsequent litigation can be avoided if the companies are able to participate in district court review of agency decisions to exclude certain pollutants from regulation and to modify compliance timetables. The final requirement for intervention under Rule 24(a)(2) has been met since the companies have shown that the existing parties may not adequately protect their interest in securing favorable interpretations of the legal requirements for specific industries.

Counsel for Appellants
Charles P. Lettow, Robert C. Bernard
Clearly, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton
1250 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 223-2151

Counsel for Federal Appellees
Peter R. Taft, Ass't Attorney General; Jacques B. Gelin, Raymond N. Zagone, Thomas A. Pursley, III, Robert A. Kerry
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2808

Ridgway A. Hall Jr.
Environmental Protection Agency
401 M St., SW, Washington DC 20460
(202) 755-0760

Counsel for Appellee Natural Resources Defense Council
Ronald J. Wilson, J.G. Speth, Edward L. Strohbehn Jr.
917 15th St., NW, Washington DC 20005
(202) 737-5000

Counsel for Appellee American Iron & Steel Institute
Richard E. Schwartz
Collier, Shannon, Rill & Edwards
1666 K St., NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 785-1777

Counsel for Appellee Citizens for a Better Environment
Michael R. Berman
59 E. Buren, Suite 2610
Chicago IL 60605
(312) 939-1530

Before: MacKINNON, ROBB, and WILKEY, Circuit Judges.