Citizens can sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency if it misses a deadline under the Clean Water Act, but they cannot force the EPA to reach a specific conclusion or freeze the evidentiary record as of the date of the deadline, a federal appeals court held on Tuesday.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the EPA’s denial of a proposal to change the methodology for measuring the level of copper in the Kanawha River near the city of Charleston, West Virginia’s wastewater treatment facility. The city’s sanitation board had argued that the EPA was required to approve the change because the agency had missed a 90-day deadline to reject it - and that, as of that deadline, there was no evidence in the record to support a denial.
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