Thursday, September 23, 2010

Judge Gold and the EPA face off

Back in April, having granted summary judgment largely to the plaintiffs in an Everglades environmental suit, Judge Gold told the EPA to quit dragging its feet and clean up the Everglades. A hearing was set for October 7 at which the EPA administrator was to explain to the court why the agency had failed to comply with various orders. Everglades-Swamp.jpgOn September 8, the EPA filed a 9-page motion saying that head Lisa Jackson was too busy to personally attend and would send her Water guy instead. The plaintiffs filed a 9-page response saying that it would really be helpful if Lisa herself came since, you know, this has been going on a long time already and there are lots of things that need to be cleared up. (I’m paraphrasing here.) And then Judge Gold entered a 9-page order saying that the EPA could bring anyone they wanted, as long as Lisa Jackson was among them. Money quotes:
Despite knowing for approximately five months that the EPA Administrator was ordered to appear at the hearing, Defendants now move—one month prior to the October 7, 2010 hearing—for a substitution of appearance.

In sum, Defendants have not demonstrated any showing of a matter of national importance, issue, or great significance to preclude the EPA Administrator—a named party—from attending the hearing. Rather, as recognized by all parties, protection of the Everglades is of considerable national importance. The Court's findings regarding the past actions of all Defendants, including the EPA, reveal how this litigation has continually persisted over the course of years. The Court must be able to make an intelligent inquiry regarding the EPA's position and policy matters, to be addressed by the EPA Administrator.
Well, the EPA filed a notice of appeal referencing that order yesterday. That's what they meant when they told the Herald they were “working with the Department of Justice to respond to the judge’s order.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

fyi, today, the eleventh circuit stayed judge gold's order that the administrator personally appear at the hearing on october 7th.