EPA asks 4th Circuit not to transfer Cooling Water Intake Rule review

On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and power industry groups asked the Fourth Circuit to not transfer petitions to review EPA’s cooling water intake rule to the Second Circuit, as Riverkeeper Inc. and environmentalists have requested.

A coalition of manufacturing and electric utility interests backed the EPA, arguing that the transfer would be inconvenient and would ignore Congress’ decision to allow review of most actions under the Clean Water Act in any circuit court, according to Law360.

The environmentalists say the transfer should be allowed since the EPA changed the cooling water intake rule after that court remanded parts of it in 2007.

“Transferring these petitions would not be more convenient for the parties (except, perhaps, Riverkeeper), nor would it serve the interests of justice, and Riverkeeper has not demonstrated that either standard is met,” the coalition said. “Riverkeeper’s arguments for transfer also ignore Congress’ specific decision not to limit review of this sort of EPA action under the CWA to a single circuit court of appeals.”

Environmentalists asked the Fourth Circuit to transfer the case Nov. 3.

The rule was finalized in August and affects more than 1,000 power plants and factories.

The case is Cooling Water Intake Structure Coalition v. U.S. EPA, case number 14-1931, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

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