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U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit Decision in Iowa League of Cities v. EPA


March 6, 2014


Washington, DC (and via teleconference)

This event included discussion of a Federal Administrative Law as well as an Environmental Law case decided at the U.S. Court of Appeals level in 2013. Subsequently, the Environmental Protection Agency declined to extend the court's ruling nationwide. In an unanimous opinion last summer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Iowa League of Cities v. EPA, 711 F.3d 844 (8th Cir. 2013), rejected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's attempts to change, without formal rulemaking, several long-standing federal Clean Water Act permitting rules as contrary to the Administrative Procedures Act. EPA's attempts to redefine allowable wastewater treatment plant design, prohibiting certain approaches were also declared beyond statutory authority. The decision further addressed several key administrative law issues affecting review of informal agency action including finality, ripeness and standing. Subsequently, EPA indicated that it will not follow the 8th Circuit decision elsewhere. This brown- bag session discussed the decision and conflict created by EPA's subsequent determination to only apply the decision in the 8th Circuit.

Gary Cohen, Attorney, Hall & Associates
John Hall, Attorney, Hall & Associates
Robert Weaver, Kelly & Weaver P.C. (Moderator)