Crown Simpson Pulp Company v. Costle, No. 79-797

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation63 L.Ed.2d 312,100 S.Ct. 1093,445 U.S. 193
PartiesCROWN SIMPSON PULP COMPANY et al. v. Douglas M. COSTLE, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
Docket NumberNo. 79-797
Decision Date17 March 1980

445 U.S. 193
100 S.Ct. 1093
63 L.Ed.2d 312
CROWN SIMPSON PULP COMPANY et al.

v.

Douglas M. COSTLE, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency.

No. 79-797.
March 17, 1980.

PER CURIAM.

Pursuant to § 301 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Act), as added by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, 86 Stat. 844, and amended by the Clean Water Act of 1977, 91 Stat. 1582, 33 U.S.C. § 1311 (1976 ed. and Supp. II), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1 promulgates regulations limiting the amount of effluent that can be discharged into navigable waters from a category or class of point sources of pollution. Requirements for particular plants or mills are implemented through National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

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permits. EPA issues NPDES permits directly except in those States authorized by EPA to issue permits through their own programs. §§ 402(b), 402(c) of the Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 1342(b), 1342(c) (1976 ed. and Supp. II). EPA is notified of the actions taken by state permit-issuing authorities and may veto the issuance of any permit by state authorities by objecting in writing within 90 days. § 402(d)(2), 33 U.S.C. § 1342(d)(2) (1976 ed., Supp. II). This case presents the question of whether the EPA's action denying a variance and disapproving effluent restrictions contained in a permit issued by an authorized state agency is directly reviewable in the United States Court of Appeals under § 509(b) of the Act, 86 Stat. 892, 33 U.S.C. § 1369(b).2

Petitioners operate bleached kraft pulp-mills which discharge pollutants into the Pacific Ocean near Eureka, Cal. In 1976, they sought NPDES permits from the California Regional Water Resources Board, North Coast Region (Regional Board).3 The Director of EPA's Region IX Enforcement Division objected to the permits proposed by the Regional Board. Petitioners sought direct review of the EPA's action in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Those direct review proceedings were stayed pending action by the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board). The State Board set aside the orders of the Regional Board and proposed to issue new permits in their stead. App. to Pet. for Cert. It granted petitioners' re-

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quests for variances from EPA's effluent limitations 4 for Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and pH, but established alternative effluent limitations for BOD and pH to apply in case EPA disapproved the variances in the proposed permits. EPA denied the requested variances and vetoed the permits to the extent that they exempted petitioners from full compliance with the BOD and pH effluent limitations. Petitioners brought a direct review action in the Ninth Circuit, which was consolidated with the actions which they had individually filed earlier.5

The Court of Appeals dismissed the petitions for lack of jurisdiction. 599 F.2d 897 (1979). It concluded that it had no jurisdiction under § 509(b)(1)(E) of the Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1369(b)(1)(E), which provides for review in the courts of appeals of actions "approving or promulgating any effluent limitation or other limitation . . . ." The Court of Appeals found this subsection inapplicable since EPA did not approve or promulgate anything when it rejected a proposed permit. 599 F.2d, at 902. Further, the court found that the subsection applied to effluent limitations affecting categories of point sources rather than to decisions affecting particular plants only. Ibid.

The court also found jurisdiction lacking under § 509(b)(1)(F) of...

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49 practice notes
  • Pennsylvania Mun. Authorities Ass'n v. Horinko, No. CIV.A. 02-01361(HHK).
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • November 20, 2003
    ...In general, EPA objections or modifications to permits have been found to be final agency action. See Crown Simpson Pulp Co. v. Costle, 445 U.S. 193, 196, 100 S.Ct. 1093, 63 L.Ed.2d 312 (1980) (accepting, implicitly, EPA Region X's objection to state-issuance of a permit as final agency act......
  • Environment. Orotect, Info. Ctr. v. Pacific Lumber, No. C 01-2821 MHP.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • June 6, 2003
    ...of a simple issuance or denial of a permit but also of actions that involve a functional equivalent. Crown Simpson Pulp Co. v. Costle, 445 U.S. 193,196,100 S.Ct. 1093, 63 L.Ed.2d 312 (1980).10 The Ninth Circuit, relying on D.C. Circuit case law, has also applied the provision to rules regul......
  • Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. U.S. E.P.A., Nos. 79-1639
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • May 7, 1981
    ...case is distinguishable from the one before us on several grounds. First, the case was decided prior to Crown Simpson Pulp Co. v. Costle, 445 U.S. 193, 100 S.Ct. 1093, 63 L.Ed.2d 312 (1980), in which the Supreme Court, while reserving judgment on review under section 1369(b)(1)(E), reversed......
  • American Paper Institute, Inc. v. U.S. E.P.A., Nos. 88-1395
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • November 27, 1989
    ...Following the Supreme Court's practical approach to jurisdiction under subsection 1369(b)(1), see Crown Simpson Pulp Co. v. Costle, 445 U.S. 193, 100 S.Ct. 1093, 63 L.Ed.2d 312 (1980); Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA, 656 F.2d 768, 776 (D.C.Cir.1981), we hold that we lack jurisdict......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
48 cases
  • Pennsylvania Mun. Authorities Ass'n v. Horinko, No. CIV.A. 02-01361(HHK).
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • November 20, 2003
    ...In general, EPA objections or modifications to permits have been found to be final agency action. See Crown Simpson Pulp Co. v. Costle, 445 U.S. 193, 196, 100 S.Ct. 1093, 63 L.Ed.2d 312 (1980) (accepting, implicitly, EPA Region X's objection to state-issuance of a permit as final agency act......
  • Environment. Orotect, Info. Ctr. v. Pacific Lumber, No. C 01-2821 MHP.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • June 6, 2003
    ...of a simple issuance or denial of a permit but also of actions that involve a functional equivalent. Crown Simpson Pulp Co. v. Costle, 445 U.S. 193,196,100 S.Ct. 1093, 63 L.Ed.2d 312 (1980).10 The Ninth Circuit, relying on D.C. Circuit case law, has also applied the provision to rules regul......
  • Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. U.S. E.P.A., Nos. 79-1639
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • May 7, 1981
    ...case is distinguishable from the one before us on several grounds. First, the case was decided prior to Crown Simpson Pulp Co. v. Costle, 445 U.S. 193, 100 S.Ct. 1093, 63 L.Ed.2d 312 (1980), in which the Supreme Court, while reserving judgment on review under section 1369(b)(1)(E), reversed......
  • American Paper Institute, Inc. v. U.S. E.P.A., Nos. 88-1395
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • November 27, 1989
    ...Following the Supreme Court's practical approach to jurisdiction under subsection 1369(b)(1), see Crown Simpson Pulp Co. v. Costle, 445 U.S. 193, 100 S.Ct. 1093, 63 L.Ed.2d 312 (1980); Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA, 656 F.2d 768, 776 (D.C.Cir.1981), we hold that we lack jurisdict......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Permits and state permit programs
    • United States
    • Introduction to environmental law: cases and materials on water pollution control - 2d Edition
    • July 23, 2017
    ...would have constituted a inal agency action reviewable by the court of appeals under § 1369(b)(1)(F). Crown Simpson Pulp Co. v. Costle , 445 U.S. 193 (1980). Prior to 1977, however, the EPA was not empowered to issue its own permit in the instance where a State did not satisfy the EPA’s obj......

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