Seacoast Anti-Pollution League v. Costle
By: LN on May 02, 2012 09:44:22 AM

Citation:  572 F.2d 872, cert. denid, 439 U.S. 824 (1978)

Summary:  Appellants had applied for license which was rejected by the administrator. Appellants claimed that administrator had based his decision on the recommendations of the technical committee.

Facts:  Appellant, Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSCO) had filed an application with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for permission to discharge the heated water into the Hampton - Seabrook Estuary. The water would run through the nuclear steam electric generating station and again would be let back into the stream. Occasionally the water would be back flushed through the condenser and later discharge to the intake tunnel at 120 F temperatures killing all the organisms in the intake tunnel of the condenser. The regional administrator of EPA held a non adjudicatory hearing in Seabrook. The regional administrator denied the application filed by appellant. Appellant filed an appeal to the administrator who appointed six in house advisors for technical review. The administrator reversed regional administrator's decision. Appellants sought review of the decision passed by the administrator.

Issue:  (1) Whether the regional administrator was correct in holding that appellants had met burden of proof? 2) Whether the administrator was correct in reversing regional administrator's decision?

Holding:  (1) Yes, the regional administrator was correct in holding that appellants had met burden of proof.  (2) No, the administrator was not correct in reversing regional administrator's decision.

Procedure:  Judgment of the regional administrator was reversed by the administrator. Judgment of the administrator was reversed by the Appellate Court.

Rule:  The Section prohibits release of any pollutant unless the discharger unless the point source operator has obtained license from EPA. (§301 (a), FWPCA) The section requires that EPA grants an opportunity for a public hearing. § 316 (a) FWPCA)

Rationale:  The administrator relied on the recommendations of the technical committee instead of his own findings. The report was filled with errors which were also taken into consideration by the administrator and hence the case was sent back.

 

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Michael Mordechai YadegariReviewsout of 83 reviews