Crown Simpson Pulp Company v. Costle

PETITIONER: Crown Simpson Pulp Company, et al.
RESPONDENT: Douglas M. Costle
LOCATION: U.S. EPA Region 9 Office

DOCKET NO.: 79-797
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 445 US 193 (1980)
DECIDED: Mar 17, 1980
GRANTED: Mar 17, 1980

Facts of the case

Crown Simpson Pulp Company and Louisiana-Pacific Corporation operated two bleached craft pulp mills in California. The mills were granted permits by the California State Water Resources Control Board with variances from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for effluent discharge. The EPA, however, denied the variances. The mill companies sought review directly in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The Act allows direct appeal of EPA actions either “issuing or denying any permit”. The court of appeals dismissed the review, holding that because the State granted the permits and the EPA merely objected the variances, this case did not fall under the Act.

Question

Did the court of appeals have jurisdiction over the permit review where the State of California was in charge of granting the permit?