Seacoast Anti-Pollution League v. Costle
United State Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
572 F.2d 872 (1978)
In 1974, the Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSCO) applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for permission to discharge heated water from the PSCO’s proposed nuclear-steam electric-generating station into the sea. PSCO requested both a discharge permit under section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), 33 U.S.C. § 1342, and an exemption from the EPA standards for these discharges pursuant to section 316 of the FWPCA, 33 U.S.C. § 1326. Section 316 provided that an exemption was to be available only when, after a public hearing, the operation could show that (1) the EPA’s standards exceeded what was necessary to protect the species that lived in and around the affected body of water and (2) the operation’s cooling process used the most environmentally friendly technology that was available. The Seacoast Anti-Pollution League and the Audubon Society of New Hampshire (Seacoast) (plaintiffs) requested public adjudicative hearings on PSCO’s application. The hearings were held before an administrative law judge (ALJ), and the record from those proceedings was forwarded to the EPA’s regional administrator, who denied PSCO’s application. PSCO appealed to EPA Administrator Donald Costle (defendant) for review. After receiving input on technical aspects of the application from a panel of in-house advisors, receiving additional information from PSCO, and denying Seacoast’s request for a hearing, Costle concluded that PSCO was entitled to an exemption under section 316. Seacoast petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for review, arguing that the EPA’s procedures violated requirements for adjudicative hearings under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 554, 556, and 557. PSCO intervened and presented arguments.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Coffin, C.J.)
What to do next…
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.
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 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.