Frey v. Environmental Protection Agency

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Environmental Law
Case Number: 
No. 13-2142
Decision Date: 
May 1, 2014
Federal District: 
S.D. Ind., Indianapolis Div.
Dist. Ct. did not err in granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment in plaintiffs’ citizen suit under CERCLA that challenged certain EPA directives with respect to cleanup efforts of PCBs that had escaped from capacitors at three local landfill and dump sites. While Dist. Ct. had jurisdiction to review directives regarding Stage 1 removal of contaminated sediment at all three sites, since said Stage 1 efforts had been completed, section 113(h)(4) of CERCLA barred Dist. Ct. from reviewing plaintiffs' challenges to cleanup efforts under Stages 2 and 3 at said landfill and dump sites since said efforts were still ongoing at time of filing of instant lawsuit. Moreover, with respect to plaintiffs’ challenge to Stage 1 directives, Dist. Ct. could properly conclude that EPA had completed functional equivalent of remedial investigation and feasibility study for each site, and that EPA had selected remedial actions that would protect human health and environment. Fact that EPA did not select most protective remedy did not require different result, since EPA may consider other factors such as cost when selecting remedy. Dist. Ct. also did not err in denying plaintiffs’ recusal motion, even though Dist. Ct. had made prior rulings on similar issues in instant enforcement action.