American Petroleum Institute v. Knecht, No. CV 77-3375-RJK.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
Citation456 F. Supp. 889
Decision Date31 August 1978
Docket NumberNo. CV 77-3375-RJK.
PartiesAMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE et al., Plaintiffs, v. Robert W. KNECHT et al., Defendants.

456 F. Supp. 889

AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Robert W. KNECHT et al., Defendants.

No. CV 77-3375-RJK.

United States District Court, C. D. California.

August 31, 1978.


456 F. Supp. 890
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456 F. Supp. 891
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McCutchen, Black, Verleger & Shea, Philip K. Verleger, Howard J. Privett, Ward L. Benshoof, Los Angeles, Cal., for plaintiffs

Sanford Sagalkin, Deputy Asst. Atty. Gen., Bruce A. Rashkow, William Brian Morrison, Attys., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., for federal defendants.

John Roger Beers, James B. Frankel, Palo Alto, Cal., for Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., and Sierra Club, moving for intervention.

Evelle J. Younger, Atty. Gen. of Cal., R. H. Connett, Asst. Atty. Gen., Roderick E. Walston, Donatas Januta, Deputy Attys. Gen., San Francisco, Cal., for California

456 F. Supp. 893
Coastal Commission, moving for intervention

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

KELLEHER, District Judge.

Plaintiffs American Petroleum Institute, Western Oil and Gas Association, and certain oil company members of the aforesaid Institute and Association brought this action against three federal officials ("the federal defendants") in their official capacities as Secretary of Commerce, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ("NOAA"), and Acting Associate Administrator of the Office of Coastal Zone Management ("OCZM"), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against defendants' imminent grant of "final approval" of the California Coastal Zone Management Program ("CZMP") pursuant to § 306 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended ("CZMA") (16 U.S.C. §§ 1451 et seq.) and seeking further relief in the nature of mandamus directing the federal defendants to grant "preliminary approval" to the CZMP pursuant to § 305(d) of the Act.

In brief, plaintiffs contend that the California Program cannot lawfully be approved by the federal defendants under § 306 of the CZMA, principally for two reasons. First, the CZMP is not a "management program" within the meaning of § 304(11) of the Act in that (a) it fails to satisfy the requirements of §§ 305(b) and 306(c), (d), and (e), and regulations promulgated thereunder, as regards content specificity; and (b) it has not been "adopted by the state" within the meaning of § 306(c)(1). Second, the procedures by which the CZMP has reached the present state of development violate the CZMA, the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") (42 U.S.C. §§ 4321 et seq.), and California statutes in that the final environmental impact statement, which differs substantially from both the draft and revised draft environmental impact statements, was not subject to formal notice and hearings, yet purports to contain one of five "elements" of the CZMP.

The action was commenced on September 9, 1977, by the filing of a complaint and application for temporary relief, pursuant to which a temporary restraining order ("TRO") and order to show cause were issued on September 12, the effect of which was to restrain the federal defendants from giving final approval to the CZMP pending further hearing on plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Thereafter, on October 7, following a hearing on October 3 and 6, an order, agreed to by all parties1 issued, whose effect was to (1) consolidate the hearing on the motion for a preliminary injunction with the trial on the merits (pursuant to Rule 65(a)(2), F.R.Civ.P.), (2) establish a briefing schedule, (3) provide for the lodging of evidentiary matter, and objections thereto, and (4) lift the TRO in order to permit the federal defendants (a) to disburse funds to California under the CZMA and (b) to take whatever action they deemed "necessary and appropriate," including formal approval of the CZMP under § 3062, accompanied by the findings required under § 306. The order further provided, however, that pending entry of final judgment in this Court, any such approval under § 306 by the federal defendants would be deemed ineffective to trigger the "consistency" provisions of § 307(c) and (d). The CZMP was given final approval by Acting Associate Administrator Knecht, to whom the duty of approving or disapproving management programs submitted under § 306 had been and continues to be delegated,

456 F. Supp. 894
on November 7, 1977. His findings were issued at that time

Thereafter, on February 13, 14, 15 and 16, 1978, the Court held the aforesaid consolidated hearing and heard argument on cross-motions for summary judgment, and the matter was further briefed and submitted to the Court for decision.

All of the parties have agreed that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact in this case and that by examining the pleadings and the evidence in the record before it, and after consideration of the arguments made in writing and orally, the Court may proceed to a disposition on the merits, which we now do.

For reasons set forth below, the Court affirms the federal defendants' § 306 approval of the CZMP and grants judgment for defendants and against plaintiffs.

FACTS

The following facts appear to be before the Court without dispute:

1. Plaintiff American Petroleum Institute ("API"), a corporation organized under the District of Columbia nonprofit corporation laws, is a national trade association of approximately 350 companies and 7,000 individuals engaged in the petroleum industry. Its members include companies and individuals actively engaged in exploration, production, refining and marketing of petroleum products in the United States, including the State of California and the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of California.

2. Plaintiff Western Oil and Gas Association ("WOGA"), a corporation organized under the California nonprofit corporation laws, is a regional trade association of over 75 member companies and individuals engaged in the petroleum industry. Its members include companies and individuals responsible for in excess of 65 percent of the production of petroleum, in excess of 90 percent of the refining of petroleum, and in excess of 90 percent of the marketing of petroleum in the southern western states of the United States, including California and the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of California.

3. Plaintiffs Champlin Petroleum Company; Chevron U.S.A., Inc.; Continental Oil Company; Exxon Corporation; Getty Oil Company; Gulf Oil Corporation; Mobil Oil Corporation; Reserve Oil & Gas Company; Shell Oil Company; Texaco, Inc.; and Union Oil Company of California ("the oil company plaintiffs") are each corporations organized under the laws of the various states and are members of API or WOGA. The oil company plaintiffs, among other activities, are engaged in the business of exploration for and production of oil and natural gas both within the state of California and on the Outer Continental Shelf ("OCS") off the California coast. Some of the oil company plaintiffs own interests in OCS leases purchased in federal lease sales under the provisions of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. §§ 1331 et seq.). The remaining plaintiffs have interests in the coastal zone of California and/or are oil and gas consumers engaged in business in California.

4. Defendant Juanita Kreps, sued herein in her official capacity, is Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce ("Secretary") and is charged with administering the CZMA, which includes approval or disapproval of coastal zone management programs submitted by the coastal states, of which California is one. NOAA exists within the Department of Commerce. By administrative directive dated October 13, 1976, the Secretary delegated, inter alia, the CZMA approval function to the Administrator of NOAA and expressly reserved other powers under the Act. Defendant Richard Frank is the Administrator of NOAA and is sued herein in his official capacity. Within NOAA there exists the Office of Coastal Zone Management ("OCZM"). Defendant Robert W. Knecht is the Acting Associate Administrator ("Acting Administrator") for coastal zone management and is sued herein in his official capacity. By administrative directive dated October 20, 1976, the Administrator of NOAA delegated to the Associate Administrator for Coastal Zone Management the authority to exercise all

456 F. Supp. 895
functions under the CZMA not expressly reserved to either the Secretary or the Administrator of NOAA

5. The defendant-in-intervention, California Coastal Commission, is an agency of the State of California created pursuant to the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Cal.Pub.Res. Code §§ 30000, et seq.). The Coastal Commission is the successor in interest to the California Coastal Zone Conservation Commission created pursuant to Proposition 20 (Cal.Pub.Res.Code §§ 27000, et seq.), which expired on December 31, 1976. The California Coastal Act became effective on January 1, 1977.

6. Defendants-in-intervention, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., and the Sierra Club ("NRDC") are associations whose members claim an interest in coastal zone management.

7. On March 31, 1976, the California Coastal Zone Conservation Commission submitted to the federal defendants a coastal zone management program for approval under the provisions of CZMA § 306.

8. In September of 1976 the federal defendants issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement ("DEIS") wherein they announced their tentative decision to approve the California Coastal Zone Management Program submitted in March. Thereafter, the State of California enacted the Coastal Act of 1976, which declared itself to be "California's coastal zone management program within the coastal zone for purposes of the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 . . .." (Cal.Pub.Res.Code § 30008.)

9. On October 20, 1976, the DEIS was withdrawn and the public hearings to be held thereon were cancelled. On April 12, 1977, the federal defendants...

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18 practice notes
  • State of Cal. by and through Brown v. Watt, Nos. 81-5699
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 12, 1982
    ...Department of Commerce charged with the responsibility of promulgating regulations for the CZMA. American Petroleum Institute v. Knecht, 456 F.Supp. 889, 908 (C.D.Cal.1978), aff'd, 609 F.2d 1306 (9th Cir. 1979). Its current view of the definition of "directly affecting" is Until May 1981, N......
  • No Oilport! v. Carter, Civ. A. No. C80-360M
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Washington)
    • February 9, 1981
    ...be supplemented. County of Suffolk v. Secretary of the Interior, 562 F.2d 1368 (2nd Cir. 1977); American Petroleum Institute v. Knecht, 456 F.Supp. 889 (C.D.Cal.1978), affirmed 609 F.2d 1306 (9th Cir. 1979). Asarco does not address the situation in which the adequacy of an EIS is at issue. ......
  • State of Cal. By and Through Brown v. Watt, No. CV 81-2080
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • August 18, 1981
    ...In contrast, the CZMA is a statute directed to, and solicitous of, environmental concerns. American Petroleum Institute v. Knecht, 456 F.Supp. 889, 919 (C.D.Cal.1978), aff'd, 609 F.2d 1306 (9th Cir. 1979). Due to this significant difference in objectives between CZMA and the other statutes,......
  • Nance v. E.P.A., Nos. 77-3058
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • May 18, 1981
    ...(D.C. Cir. 1978). See also the extensive discussion of ripeness which this Court has approved in American Petroleum Institute v. Knecht, 456 F.Supp. 889 (D.C.Cal.1978), aff'd 609 F.2d 1306 (9th Cir. 1979), stressing the importance of considering the extent of the hardship on the parties if ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • State of Cal. by and through Brown v. Watt, Nos. 81-5699
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 12, 1982
    ...Department of Commerce charged with the responsibility of promulgating regulations for the CZMA. American Petroleum Institute v. Knecht, 456 F.Supp. 889, 908 (C.D.Cal.1978), aff'd, 609 F.2d 1306 (9th Cir. 1979). Its current view of the definition of "directly affecting" is Until May 1981, N......
  • No Oilport! v. Carter, Civ. A. No. C80-360M
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Washington)
    • February 9, 1981
    ...be supplemented. County of Suffolk v. Secretary of the Interior, 562 F.2d 1368 (2nd Cir. 1977); American Petroleum Institute v. Knecht, 456 F.Supp. 889 (C.D.Cal.1978), affirmed 609 F.2d 1306 (9th Cir. 1979). Asarco does not address the situation in which the adequacy of an EIS is at issue. ......
  • State of Cal. By and Through Brown v. Watt, No. CV 81-2080
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • August 18, 1981
    ...In contrast, the CZMA is a statute directed to, and solicitous of, environmental concerns. American Petroleum Institute v. Knecht, 456 F.Supp. 889, 919 (C.D.Cal.1978), aff'd, 609 F.2d 1306 (9th Cir. 1979). Due to this significant difference in objectives between CZMA and the other statutes,......
  • Nance v. E.P.A., Nos. 77-3058
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • May 18, 1981
    ...(D.C. Cir. 1978). See also the extensive discussion of ripeness which this Court has approved in American Petroleum Institute v. Knecht, 456 F.Supp. 889 (D.C.Cal.1978), aff'd 609 F.2d 1306 (9th Cir. 1979), stressing the importance of considering the extent of the hardship on the parties if ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • The TMDL Program to Come: Aftershock and Prelude
    • United States
    • The Clean Water Act TMDL Program: Law, Policy, and Implementation
    • August 23, 2002
    ...American Paper Inst. v. EPA, 890 F.2d 869, 875-878, 20 ELR 20482, 20485-86 (7th Cir. 1989); see also American Petroleum Inst. v. Knecht, 456 F. Supp. 889, 8 ELR 20853, aff’d, 609 F.2d 1306, 10 ELR 20083 (9th Cir. 1979) (upholding federal requirements under the Coastal Zone Management Act. “......

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