14 ELR 20427 | Environmental Law Reporter | copyright © 1984 | All rights reserved

Kean v. Clark

Nos. 82-5679, -5752 (3d Cir. March 21, 1984)

In light of the Supreme Court ruling in Secretary of the Interior v. California, 14 ELR 20129, the circuit court reverses and remands the district court's ruling requiring consistency determinations under the Coastal Zone Management Act for outer continental shelf oil and gas lease sales, 13 ELR 20618.

Counsel for Appellants (Cross-Appellees)
Irvin I. Kimmelman, Attorney General; John M. Van Dalen, Deborah T. Poritz, James J. Ciancia
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex, CN112, Trenton NJ 08625
(609) 984-6500

Counsel for Appellees (Cross-Appellants)
Nancy B. Firestone, Arthur E. Gowran, Peter R. Steenland Jr.
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2757

Counsel for Amici Curiae
Sarah Chasis, David Keto, David Wirth
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
122 E. 42d St., New York NY 10017
(212) 949-0049

Norman C. Gorsuch, Attorney General; Lauri J. Adams
Pouch K, Capitol Bldg., Juneau AK 99811
(907) 465-3600

E. Edward Bruce, David K. Flynn, Bobby R. Burchfield
Covington & Burling
P.O. Box 7566, Washington DC 20044
(202) 662-6000

Before Gibbons, Garth, and Sloviter, JJ.

[14 ELR 20427]

Per curiam:

This appeal and cross-appeal raised two issues with regard to the Coastal Zone Management Act ("CZMA"), 16 U.S.C. §§ 1451-1464 (1980). The Secretary of the Interior questioned whether outer continental shelf oil and gas leasing directly affects an adjacent state's coastal zone within the meaning of section 307(c)(1)1 of the CZMA. The district court ruled against the Secretary of the Interior and held that the lease sale in question did directly affect New Jersey's coastal Zone, thereby triggering the CZMA's consistency requirements.

The State of New Jersey challenged whether the CZMA, assuming it applies to a lease sale, protects the coastal zone of a directly affected state from economic or social impacts inconsistent with the state's approved coastal management program. Contrary to New Jersey's position, the district court ruled that the CZMA only protects against inconsistent physical impacts to the coastal zone, and not against inconsistent socio-economic impacts. Prior to disposition on the merits, all parties agreed that we should withhold disposition until after the Supreme Court decided California v. Watt, 683 F.2d 1253 [12 ELR 21084] (9th Cir. 1982), cert. granted, 51 USLW 3818 (1983), which presented the precise issue raised by the Secretary of the Interior in the instant appeal.

On January 11, 1984, the Supreme Court decided Clark v. California, Nos. 82-1326, 82-1327, 82-1511 [14 ELR 20129], and held, in accordance with the position taken by the Secretary of the Interior, that the Department of the Interior's sale of oil and gas leases on the outer continental shelf off the coast of California was not an activity "directly affecting" the coastal zone under section 307(c)(1) of the CZMA. Thereafter, counsel in the instant matter, in response to this court's instruction, filed supplemental memoranda commenting on the application of the Supreme Court decision to the issues in Kean v. Clark.

As a result of the responses to the court's inquiry and the consistent position taken by all counsel which the court hereby approves, we will reverse that part of the district court's judgment which the Secretary of the Interior challenged by cross-appeal, (No. 82-5752) and remand to the district court with instructions to dismiss as moot that aspect of the judgment appealed by the State of New Jersey (No. 82-5679).

1. "Each Federal agency conducting or supporting activities directly affecting the coastal zone shall conduct or support those activities in a manner which is, to the maximum extent practicable, consistent with approved state management programs." 16 U.S.C. § 1456(c)(1).

14 ELR 20427 | Environmental Law Reporter | copyright © 1984 | All rights reserved