Law School Case Brief
Anaconda Co. v. Ruckelshaus - 482 F.2d 1301 (10th Cir. 1973)
The Administrative Procedure Act requires that there be an adjudicatory hearing only if the agency statute specifies that the particular rule-making hearings be on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing. No such requirement is set forth in the Clean Air Act.
Plaintiff-appellee smelter operator Anaconda Copper Company (“Anaconda”) sought injunctive relief against defendants-appellant officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Anaconda sought relief against the promulgation of a proposed rule controlling emissions of sulfur oxide in Deer Lodge County, Montana, until the officials conducted an adjudicatory hearing and until it promulgated an environmental impact statement. The district court granted the requested relief. The EPA officials sought review.
Did the district court err in granting the injunctive relief against the EPA's promulgation of a proposed rule controlling emissions of sulfur oxide until the officials conducted an adjudicatory hearing and until it promulgated an environmental impact statement?
The United States Court of Appeals explained that the crucial aspect of the case was the validity of the proposed EPA regulation for the control of sulfur oxide emissions in Deer Lodge County where plaintiff-appellee Anaconda was the only significant source of sulfur oxide pollution and so the proposed regulation would apply to Anaconda alone. In 42 U.S.C.S. § 1857h-5(b)(1), Congress provided for review in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or the court of appeals for the appropriate circuit. The court held that the case was not ripe for review and that there was not any justification for intervention by the district court. Next, the court found no violation of Anaconda's right to procedural due process. The congressional requirement of a public hearing was satisfied, notice was given, the the proposed regulation was issued. Anaconda appeared at that hearing and submitted material and was given an opportunity to submit more material and information for a period of 75 days following the public hearing. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment by which Anaconda had been granted relief from the proposed regulation.
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