880 F.2d 432 (D.C. Cir. 1989), 86-1529, State of Ohio v. U.S. Dept. of Interior

Docket Nº:86-1529, 86-1575, 86-1580, 86-1585, 86-1587, 86-1590, 86-1591, 86-1594, 86-1597, 88-1291, 88-1366.
Citation:880 F.2d 432
Party Name:STATE OF OHIO, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Manuel LuJan. Jr., Secretary of Department of the Interior, Respondents, Public Service Electric and Gas Co., et al., ASARCO Inc., Intervenors. NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION, et al., Petitioner, v. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR and United States of America, Respondents, Edison Elec
Case Date:July 14, 1989
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
 
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Page 432

880 F.2d 432 (D.C. Cir. 1989)

STATE OF OHIO, Petitioner,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Manuel LuJan. Jr.,

Secretary of Department of the Interior, Respondents,

Public Service Electric and Gas Co., et al., ASARCO Inc.,

Intervenors.

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION, et al., Petitioner,

v.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR and United States of America, Respondents,

Edison Electric Institute, American Mining Congress, Public

Service Electric and Gas Co., et al., Chemical

Manufacturers Association, American

Petroleum Institute, ASARCO

Inc., Intervenors.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION,

Petitioner,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Manuel LuJan. Jr.,

Secretary of Department of the Interior and United

States of America, Respondents,

Edison Electric Institute, American Petroleum Institute,

American Mining Congress, ASARCO, Inc., Public

Service Electric and Gas Co., Chemical

Manufacturers Association,

Intervenors.

STATE OF COLORADO, Petitioner,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Manuel LuJan. Jr.,

Secretary of Department of the Interior and United

States of America, Respondents,

Edison Electric Institute, American Mining Congress, Public

Service Electric and Gas Co., et al., American

Petroleum Institute, ASARCO Inc.,

Chemical Manufacturers

Association, Intervenors.

STATE OF NEW YORK, et al., Petitioners,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Manuel LuJan. Jr.,

Secretary of Department of the Interior and United

States of America, Respondents,

American Mining Congress, Public Service Electric and Gas

Co., et al., American Petroleum Institute, Edison

Electric Institute, ASARCO, Inc.,

Chemical Manufacturers

Association, Intervenors.

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, Petitioner,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Manuel LuJan. Jr.,

Secretary of Department of the Interior and United

States of America, Respondents,

American Mining Congress, Public Service Electric and Gas

Co., et al., American Petroleum Institute, Edison

Electric Institute, ASARCO Inc.,

Chemical Manufacturers

Association, Intervenors.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, ex rel. John K. Van de

Kamp, Attorney General of California, Petitioners,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Manuel LuJan. Jr.,

Secretary of Department of the Interior and United

States of America, Respondents,

American Mining Congress, Public Service Electric and Gas

Co., et al., American Petroleum Institute, Edison

Electric Institute, ASARCO Inc.,

Chemical Manufacturers

Association, Intervenors.

CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION, Petitioner,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Manuel LuJan. Jr.,

Secretary of Department of the Interior and United

States of America, Respondents,

Edison Electric Institute, ASARCO Inc., National Wildlife

Federation, et al., Intervenors.

PUBLIC SERVICE ELECTRIC & GAS COMPANY, and Dana Corporation,

Petitioners,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Manuel LuJan. Jr.,

Secretary of Department of the Interior and United

States of America, Respondents,

Edison Electric Institute, ASARCO Inc., National Wildlife

Federation, et al., Intervenors.

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION, et al., Petitioners,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Manuel LuJan. Jr.,

Secretary of Department of the Interior, Respondents.

STATE OF NEW YORK, et al., Petitioners,

v.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Manuel LuJan. Jr.,

Secretary of Department of the Interior, Respondents.

Nos. 86-1529, 86-1575, 86-1580, 86-1585, 86-1587, 86-1590, 86-1591, 86-1594, 86-1597, 88-1291, 88-1366.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

July 14, 1989

Page 433

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Page 434

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Page 435

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Page 436

Argued Feb. 22, 1989.

Erik D. Olson and Gordon Johnson, with whom Eric Glitzenstein, Washington, D.C., Michael Bean, Robert Abrams, Charles R. Dyas, E. Dennis Muchnicki, Columbus, Ohio, Michael R. Hope, James D. Ellman, James M. Shannon, Boston, Mass., Lee P. Breckenridge, Mary E. Hackenbracht, San Francisco, Cal., James E. Tierney, Marcia J. Cleveland, Mary C. Jacobsen, Kenneth N. Tedford, Hartford, Conn., and Gary Powers were on the brief, for State and Environmental petitioners in nos. 86-1529, et al.

Francine A. Schott, Livingston, N.J., also entered an appearance, for petitioners in no. 86-1580.

Howard A. Kenison and Michael C. Donovan also entered appearances, for petitioners in no. 86-1585.

Susan M. Bernard, Washington, D.C., also entered an appearance, for petitioners in no. 86-1590.

Allene C. Zanger also entered an appearance, for petitioners in no. 86-1591.

John A. Zackrison, with whom Amy R. Sabrin, Jeffrey N. Martin and David F. Zoll, Washington, D.C., were on the joint brief for industry petitioners in 86-1529, et al., and also entered appearances, for intervenor Chemical Mfrs. Ass'n, in nos. 86-1575, 86-1580, 86-1585, 86-1587, 86-1590, 86-1591.

Edward W. Warren and Edmund B. Frost, Washington, D.C., also entered appearances, for petitioners in no. 86-1594.

Lawrence E. Blatnik, Atty., Dept. of Justice, with whom Roger J. Marzulla, Asst. Atty. Gen., Washington, D.C., and Margaret Kane Harrington were on the brief, for respondents in nos. 86-1529, et al.

Christopher Harris and Michael J. Brennan, Washington, D.C., with whom M. Elizabeth Cox, Edward M. Green, G. William Frick, Washington, D.C., Catherine Eshelman, John D. Fognani, Denver, Colo., John A. Zackrison, Jeffrey N. Martin, David F. Zoll, Toni K. Allen and Charles E. Di Leva, Washington, D.C., were on the joint brief, for intervenors.

Eric Glitzenstein, with whom Erik D. Olson, Washington, D.C., and Michael Bean were on the brief, for intervenors Nat. Wildlife Federation, Public Citizen, and Environmental Defense Fund in nos. 86-1529, et al.

Frank H. Morison and John D. Fognani, Denver, Colo., also entered appearances, for intervenor ASARCO, Inc. in nos. 86-

Page 437

1529, 86-1575, 86-1580, 86-1585, 86-1587, 86-1590, 86-1591, 86-1594 and 86-1597.

Edward H. Comer and William L. Fang, Washington, D.C., also entered appearances, for intervenor Edison Elec. Institute in nos. 86-1575, 86-1580, 86-1585, 86-1587, 86-1590 and 86-1591.

Douglas E. McAllister, Phoenix, Ariz., Roderic T. Dwyer, and M. Elizabeth Cox also entered appearances, for intervenor American Mining Congress in nos. 86-1575, 86-1580, 86-1585, 86-1587, 86-1590 and 86-1591.

Arnold S. Block, Philadelphia, Pa., also entered an appearance, for intervenor American Petroleum Institute in nos. 86-1575, 86-1580, 86-1585, 86-1587, 86-1590, 86-1591.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page I. BACKGROUND ......................................................... 438 A. Statutory Background ......................................... 438 B. The Natural Resource Damage Assessment Regulations ........... 440 II. STANDARD OF REVIEW 441 III. THE "LESSEROF" RULE 441 A. The Contours of "the Precise Question at Issue" .............. 442 B. Text and Structure of CERCLA ................................. 444 1. Section 107(f)(1) and the Measure of Damages 444 a. Limitation on Uses of Recovered Damages ...................... 444 b. The "Shall Not Be Limited By" Language ..................... 445 2. Interior's Reading of CERCLA Secs. 301 and 107 ............ 446 a. The "Take Into Consideration" Language ..................... 446 b. The Assessment Costs Language .. 446 c. The "Shall Not Be Limited By" Language ..................... 447 3. Superfund Provisions ................................... 448 4. Settlement Provision ................................... 449 5. Double Recovery Provision .............................. 450 6. CERCLA and the Clean Water Act ......................... 450 C. Legislative History of CERCLA ................................ 450 1. The Enactment of CERCLA in 1980 ........................ 450 2. The Enactment of SARA in 1986 .......................... 452 3. Congress' Rejection of the Premises Underlying the "LesserOf" Rule ..................................... 455 a. CERCLA and the CommonLaw Measure of Damages ........... 455 b. CERCLA and Economic Efficiency . 456 4. AcquiescencebyReenactment Argument ................... 457 D. Conclusion 459 IV. THE PUBLIC OWNERSHIP RULE .......................................... 459 A. The Statute .................................................. 459 1. Statutory Language ..................................... 459 2. Legislative History .................................... 460 B. The Regulations and Accompanying Commentary .................. 460 V. THE "COMMITTED USE" REQUIREMENT .................................... 461 VI. THE HIERARCHY OF ASSESSMENT METHODS ................................ 462 VII. THE TEN PERCENT DISCOUNT RATE ...................................... 464 VIII. THE ALLEGEDLY PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT OF PRPS ....................... 465 A. Delegation of the Assessment Process to PRPs ................. 466 1. Delegability of Assessment Tasks Generally ............. 466 2. Specific Aspects of the Delegation Rule ................ 466 B. Public Notice and Comment .................................... 467 IX. LIMITATION ON RECOVERY OF ASSESSMENT COSTS ......................... 468 X. THE ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA ............................................ 468 A. The Regulations .............................................. 469 B. Analysis ..................................................... 470 1. CERCLA and the...

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