Georgia-Pacific West, Inc. v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center

Consolidated with:

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
11-347 9th Cir. Dec 3, 2012
Tr.Aud.
Mar 20, 2013 7-1 Kennedy OT 2012

Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, serves as counsel to the respondent in this case.

Holding: A provision of the Clean Water Act governing challenges to Environmental Protection Agency actions, 33 U.S.C. § 1369(b), is not a jurisdictional bar to this suit, which alleges that the defendants had not obtained National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits before discharging stormwater runoff into two Oregon rivers. That provision is the exclusive vehicle for suits seeking to invalidate certain agency decisions, such as the establishment of effluent standards and the issuance of permits. It does not bar a district court from entertaining a citizen suit, like this one, under Section 1365 when the suit is against an alleged violator and seeks to enforce an obligation imposed by the Act or its regulations. Moreover, the EPA’s recent amendment to the Industrial Stormwater Rule does not make the cases moot.

Judgment: Reversed on March 20, 2013. The Chief Justice filed a concurring opinion, which was joined by Justice Alito. Justice Scalia filed an opinion dissenting in part and concurring in part.

SCOTUSblog Coverage

DateProceedings and Orders
Jul 29 2011Application (11A156) to extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari from August 15, 2011 to September 14, 2011, submitted to Justice Kennedy.
Aug 4 2011Application (11A156) granted by Justice Kennedy extending the time to file until September 14, 2011.
Sep 13 2011Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due October 19, 2011)
Sep 22 2011Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of netiher party, received from counsel for the petitioners.
Sep 22 2011Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of ether party or of neither party, received from counsel for the respondent. VIDED.
Sep 30 2011Order extending time to file response to petition to and including November 18, 2011.
Oct 12 2011Brief amici curiae of National Association of Counties, et al. filed. VIDED.
Oct 14 2011Brief amici curiae of Alabama Forestry Association, et al. filed. VIDED.
Oct 14 2011Brief amici curiae of Arkansas, et al. filed. VIDED.
Oct 17 2011Brief amici curiae of National Alliance of Forest Owners, et al. filed. VIDED.
Oct 17 2011Brief amici curiae of American Forest Resource Council, et al. filed. VIDED.
Nov 10 2011Brief of respondent Northwest Environmental Defense Center in opposition filed. VIDED.
Nov 22 2011DISTRIBUTED for Conference of December 9, 2011.
Nov 22 2011Reply of petitioners Georgia-Pacific West, Inc., et al. filed. (Distributed)
Dec 12 2011The Solicitor General is invited to file a brief in this case expressing the views of the United States. Justice Breyer took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition.
May 24 2012Brief amicus curiae of United States filed. VIDED,
Jun 4 2012Supplemental brief of respondent Northwest Environmental Defense Center filed. VIDED.
Jun 5 2012DISTRIBUTED for Conference of June 21, 2012.
Jun 5 2012Supplemental brief of petitioners Georgia-Pacific West, Inc., et al. filed. (Distributed)
Jun 25 2012Petition GRANTED The petition for a writ of certiorari in No. 11-338 is granted. The cases are consolidated and a total of one hour is allotted for oral argument. Justice Breyer took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition.
Jul 12 2012The time to file the joint appendix and petitioners' briefs on the merits is extended to and including August 21, 2012. VIDED.
Jul 12 2012The time to file respondents' brief on the merits is extended to and including October 2, 2012. VIDED.
Jul 18 2012Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for respondent. VIDED.
Jul 19 2012Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for the petitioners.
Jul 25 2012The time to file the joint appendix and petitioners' briefs on the merits is further extended to and including August 28, 2012. VIDED
Jul 25 2012The time to file respondents' brief on the merits is further extended to and including October 16, 2012. VIDED
Aug 22 2012Brief amici curiae of Association of Oregon Counties, et al. filed. VIDED.
Aug 28 2012Brief of petitioners Georgia-Pacific West, Inc., et al. filed.
Aug 28 2012Joint appendix filed. (Jt. Appendix in 2 volumes) VIDED. (Statement of costs received.)
Aug 28 2012Brief amicus curiae of Ruffed Grouse Society filed. VIDED.
Aug 29 2012Brief amici curiae of American Forest Resource Council, et al. filed. VIDED.
Aug 30 2012Brief amici curiae of National Governors Association, et al. filed. VIDED.
Sep 4 2012Brief amicus curiae of United States filed. VIDED.
Sep 4 2012Brief amicus curiae of National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center filed.
Sep 4 2012Brief amici curiae of Law Professors filed. VIDED.
Sep 4 2012Brief amicus curiae of Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America filed. VIDED.
Sep 4 2012Brief amici curiae of Arkansas, et al. filed. VIDED.
Sep 4 2012Brief amici curiae of National Alliance of Forest Owners, et al. filed. VIDED.
Sep 4 2012Brief amicus curiae of Mountain States Legal Foundation filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Sep 4 2012Brief amici curiae of Society of American Foresters, et al. filed. VIDED.
Sep 4 2012Brief amici curiae of Pacific Legal Foundation, et al. filed. VIDED.
Sep 4 2012Brief amici curiae of American Farm Bureau Federation, et al. filed.
Sep 14 2012SET FOR ARGUMENT ON Monday, December 3, 2012.
Oct 16 2012Brief of respondents Northwest Environmental Defense Center, et al. filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Oct 17 2012CIRCULATED.
Oct 17 2012Motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument filed. VIDED.
Oct 23 2012Brief amici curiae of Law Professors on Section 1369(b) Jurisdiction filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Oct 23 2012Brief amici curiae of Western Division of the American Fisheries Society, et al. filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Oct 23 2012Brief amici curiae of Robert Wayland, et al. filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Oct 23 2012Brief amicus curiae of Dr. Kevin Boston filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Oct 23 2012Brief amici curiae of Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, et al. filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Oct 23 2012Brief amici curiae of Environmental Protection Information Center, et al. filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Oct 23 2012Brief amici curiae of Law Professors on the Propriety of Administrative Deference filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Oct 23 2012Brief amici curiae of Northwest Environmental Advocates, et al. filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Oct 30 2012Letter dated October 30, 2012, with attached Eleventh Circuit Decision, received from counsel for respondent Northwest Environmental Defense Center. Filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Nov 13 2012Motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument GRANTED. Justice Breyer took no part in the consideration or decision of this motion.
Nov 14 2012Reply of petitioners Georgia-Pacific West, Inc., et al. filed. (Distributed)
Nov 30 2012Letter from counsel for petitioners Georgia-Pacific West, Inc., et al., received and distributed. VIDED
Dec 3 2012Argued. For petitioners: Timothy S. Bishop, Chicago, Ill.; and Malcolm L. Stewart, Deputy Solicitor General, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C. (for United States, as amicus curiae.) For respondent: Jeffrey L. Fisher, Stanford, Cal.
Jan 8 2013The motion of petitioners in No. 11-338 for leave to file a supplemental brief after argument is granted. The other parties to these cases and the Solicitor General may file supplemental briefs, not to exceed 3,000 words each, addressing the effect of the Environmental Protection Agency’s amendment to its stormwater-discharge rule on or before Tuesday, January 22, 2013. Justice Breyer took no part in the consideration or decision of this motion. VIDED
Jan 22 2013Supplemental brief of respondent Northwest Environmental Defense Center filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Jan 22 2013Supplemental brief of petitioners Georgia-Pacific West, Inc., et al. filed. (Distributed)
Jan 22 2013Supplemental brief of the United States filed. VIDED. (Distributed)
Mar 20 2013Judgment REVERSED and case REMANDED. Kennedy, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Thomas, Ginsburg, Alito, Sotomayor, and Kagan, JJ., joined, and in which Scalia, J., joined as to Parts I and II. Roberts, C. J., filed a concurring opinion, in which Alito, J., joined. Scalia, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. Justice Breyer took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition.
Apr 22 2013JUDGMENT ISSUED
 
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