Alameda Water & Sanitation District v. Reilly
United States District Court for the District of Colorado
930 F. Supp. 486, 26 ELR 21526 (1996)
Alameda Water & Sanitation District (Alameda) (plaintiff), a division of local government, sought to build a project known as the Two Forks Dam. Alameda applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for necessary permits under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The regional administrator of the EPA had made public statements against the dam and recused himself from consideration of the case. The EPA used its authority under § 404(c) of the CWA to veto the project, explaining that the dam would reduce the quantity of water in natural waterways, affecting recreational and fishery conditions. Alameda sued EPA administrator William Reilly (defendant), arguing that the CWA was intended to regulate water quality, not water quantity. In an earlier case involving a state law requiring that applicants for a permit maintain minimum stream flow, the United States Supreme Court had stated that water quantity was related to water quality and that the CWA embraced a broad concept of pollution reflecting Congress’s general concern with the integrity of bodies of water. Alameda also argued that the veto violated principles of due process, asserting that Reilly, who had also made statements against the dam, had dictated the EPA’s decision before any evaluation had been carried out. Reilly filed a motion for summary judgment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Matsch, C.J.)
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