Standing requires a direct relationship between the alleged agency action and the injury suffered, rules California District Court

The Clean Water Act's Section 303(d) requires each State biennially to develop a list of environmentally impaired water bodies and to submit the list to the EPA for approval or disapproval. In 1992, California recommended, and the EPA approved, the Section 303(d) designation of Redwood Creek as impaired by sediment. In 2002, California and the EPA retained Redwood Creek on the Section 303(d) list as impaired by sediment and water temperature. Another Section 303(d) review process in 2006 resulted in Redwood Creek remaining listed as impaired by both sediment and water temperature. Barnum Timber owns property along Redwood Creek, and filed suit over the 2006 impairment listing; Barnum alleged that, at least in part, the listing was on the EPA's determination that Redwood Creek was unable to support fish populations at historical levels. Barnum also alleged that the deliberations by the North Coast RWQCB and the State Water Resources Control Board were based on faulty assumptions. Finally, Barnum alleged that it had suffered extra costs to satisfy land use restrictions and that its property values decrease. EPA moved to dismiss on the grounds that Barnum lacked Art. III standing.
 
In Barnum Timber Co. v. EPA, 2008 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 74858 (N.D. CA. 2008), the District Court addressed the motion. Insofar as standing is concerned, the Court noted that the complaint’s only allegation was as follows: “Barnum is presently and continuously injured by the Section 303(d) listing and will be further injured by the development and implementation of TMDLs because it will be forced to alter its land management practices and will be subjected to severe restrictions on the use of its land. Specifically, as a result of these listings, Barnum incurs substantial extra costs in managing its lands, and the listings diminish the available uses of that land. Barnum's property in the Redwood Creek watershed has already lost value because of the inclusion of Redwood Creek on the Section 303(d) list as impaired by sediment and by temperature. The development and implementation of TMDLs will cause additional injury. Barnum is injured by the implementation of the TMDL already established for sediment and by the development and future implementation of a TMDL for temperature; these TMDLs are certain to reduce the value of Barnum's property.” The Court characterized this allegation as conclusory and non-specific.
 
Further, the Court noted that Barnum failed to tie the 303(d) listing to its alleged injuries. As the Court noted: “Defendant conceded at the hearing that the application to plaintiff of California's forestry regulations constitutes ‘injury in fact.’ Defendant contends, however, that those injures are not traceable to the EPA's Section 303(d) approval in 2006 and would not be redressed by a ruling in plaintiff's favor. This order agrees. Plaintiff fails to establish that the injuries it identifies in its opposition, all of which arise from California forestry regulations, were caused by or are in any way connected to the EPA's 2006 approval of California's listing of Redwood Creek. Plaintiff, in fact, fails to identify any connection between the California forestry regulation and the Section 303(d) process. Plaintiff offers only the conclusory assertion that its injuries from the state forestry regulation arose as a result of the Section 303(d) listing. Such conclusory statements, without explanation, do not satisfy the constitutional requirements for standing. Moreover, an examination of the California regulation suggests that, in contrast to plaintiff's assertion, Section 916.9 is not in fact triggered by the Section 303(d) process. [¶] Section 916.9 was added to California's forestry regulations in 2000, six years prior to the EPA decision plaintiff now challenges, and the application of Section 916.9 is triggered not by Section 303(d) listing or the Act but rather by actions under state and federal endangered species acts. The regulation states, ‘[i]n addition to all other district Forest Practice Rules, the following requirements shall apply in any planning watershed with threatened or impaired values.’ CAL. CODE REGS. tit. 14, § 916.9 (emphasis added). The phrase ‘watershed with threatened or impaired values’ is a defined term: ‘'Watersheds with threatened or impaired values' means any planning watershed where populations of anadromous salmonids that are listed as threatened, endangered, or candidate under the State or Federal Endangered Species Acts with their implementing regulations, are currently present or can be restored.’ Id.at 895.1 (emphasis added). This definition indicates that the regulations allegedly causing plaintiff's injury are not triggered by the Section 303(d) process or the Clean Water Act but rather by actions under federal or state endangered species acts.”
 
“…here plaintiff identifies no connection between the state regulation causing its injury and the EPA's Section 303(d) action it challenges. Plaintiff also asserts that it has suffered an injury independent of California's Section 916.9 -- a decrease in its property value caused by the mere listing of Redwood Creek on the Section 303(d) list. Plaintiff offers nothing to support this claim other than the bare allegation itself. The injury and causation requirements would be empty if such conclusory and unsupported allegations could alone confer standing. Plaintiff's own authority undercuts its cause. Plaintiff cites San Diego County Gun Rights Comm. v. Reno, 98 F.3d 1121, 1130 (9th Cir. 1996). That decision, however, rejected the plaintiff's economic-injury theory of standing because "the [challenged] Act [was] neither the only relevant piece of legislation nor the sole factor affecting the price of grandfathered weaponry . . . . Thus, any finding that the Crime Control Act had a significant impact on the increase in prices of weapons would be tantamount to sheer speculation." Ibid. Here, similarly, a broad spectrum of factors, both regulatory and non-regulatory, affect the value of plaintiff's property. Plaintiff has not even attempted, much less succeeded, to isolate Section 303(d) listing from other factors affecting the value of its property. Plaintiff has not even detailed how the value of its property has changed over time.
 

Thus, standing was not found, and the motion was granted.