Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center

United States Supreme Court
133 S. Ct. 1326 (2013)


Facts

Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. § 1342(p), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permits were not required for industrial discharges consisting solely of stormwater, but were required for discharges of stormwater runoff “associated with industrial activity.” This phrase was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Industrial Stormwater Rule (Rule), 40 C.F.R. § 122.26, as only those discharges that were “directly related to the manufacturing, processing or raw materials storage areas at an industrial plant.” The EPA had interpreted the Rule as not applying to runoff from logging roads. Georgia-Pacific West, Inc. and several other companies (companies) (defendants) constructed and used logging roads to carry timber away from their logging sites in Oregon’s Tillamook State Forest. Stormwater runoff containing sediment flowed from these logging roads into nearby rivers, posing a threat to marine life. Northwest Environmental Defense Center (plaintiff) filed a citizen suit in district court against the companies, Oregon State Forester Doug Decker, and other state and local officials (defendants), alleging that the companies had violated the CWA by failing to obtain NPDES permits for the stormwater runoff from their logging roads. The district court dismissed the case. The court of appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider whether the EPA’s interpretation of the Rule was entitled to deference. Three days before oral argument, the EPA issued an amended version of the Rule, which clarified that NPDES permits were required only for logging operations that involved rock crushing, gravel washing, log sorting, and log storage.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Concurrence (Roberts, C.J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Concurrence/Dissent (Scalia, J.)

The concurrence/dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the judge’s concurrence in part and dissent in part.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 219,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.