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Envirocare of Utah, Inc. v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

194 F.3d 72 (1999)

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Envirocare of Utah, Inc. v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

194 F.3d 72 (1999)

Facts

Envirocare of Utah, Inc. (Envirocare) (plaintiff) was the first facility licensed to dispose of radioactive waste from offsite sources. When Quivira Mining Company and International Uranium (USA) Corporation applied for licenses, Envirocare tried to intervene in both licensing proceedings and requested a hearing. Envirocare claimed that neither applicant had to meet licensing standards as strict as those Envirocare met, and applying laxer regulations put Envirocare at a competitive disadvantage, harming it economically. The Licensing Board rejected Envirocare’s requests, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (defendant) affirmed in both cases. In Quivira’s case, the commission found that Envirocare lacked prudential standing to intervene because its purely economic interest in policing a competitor’s licensing requirements did not fall within the zone of interests that trigger hearing and intervention rights under the Atomic Energy Act (AEA). A few months later, the commission reached the same conclusion in International Uranium’s case. The commission clarified that judicial standing doctrines do not apply in the administrative context because regulatory commissions are not Article III courts, but concluded that Congress intended the AEA hearing and intervention provisions to protect interests other than keeping a competitor from gaining pecuniary advantages. Envirocare petitioned for review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Randolph, J.)

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