MISSION: Southwest Research and Information Center is a multi-cultural organization working to promote the health of people and communities, protect natural resources, ensure citizen participation, and secure environmental and social justice now and for future generations

WIPP LITIGATION
Summary of ongoing WIPP litigation

November 13, 2000

Litigation against DOE

State of New Mexico, ex. rel. Tom Udall, Attorney General and Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Southwest Research and Information Center, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, et al., and State of Texas, ex. rel., Dan Morales, Attorney General v. James Watkins, Secretary of Energy, et al., Civ. A. 91-2527, filed on October 9, 1991 (interventions filed later that month).

Environmental Defense Fund, et al. v. Watkins, Civ. A. 91-2929, filed in November 1991. (consolidated with State of New Mexico).

Decisions: 783 F.Supp. 628 (D.D.C. 1991)(Preliminary injunction granted);  783 F.Supp. 633 (D.D.C. 1992)(permanent injunction granted for violations of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA);  969 F.2d. 1122 (D.C.Cir. 1992) (Upholding district court decision on FLPMA and permanent injunction, remanding to district court on RCRA).

Motions for preliminary injunction and other matters filed on June 9, 1998. The judge heard oral arguments on March 12, 1999.

Decisions: 39 F.Supp. 2d 48 (D.D.C. 1999) (Preliminary injunction denied). On March 24, 1999, the judge denied a motion by the environmental plaintiffs for a preliminary injunction pending appeal. Final Judgment in favor of DOE was entered on September 30, 1999.


Litigation against EPA

State of New Mexico, ex. rel. Tom Udall v. Environmental Protection Agency and Carol Browner, No. 98-1322, filed on July 17, 1998 in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Southwest Research and Information Center, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency and Carol Browner, No. 98-1323, filed on July 17, 1998 in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Citizens For Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping v. Environmental Protection Agency and Carol Browner, No. 98-1324, filed on July 17, 1998 in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Decisions: On May 5, 1999, the court granted the State of New Mexico's motion for voluntary dismissal and cancelled oral argument, which was scheduled for the next day. On June 28, 1999, the court issued an order denying remaining petitioners' challenges.

Litigation against the State of New Mexico RCRA Permit

United States of America v. State of New Mexico, New Mexico Environment Department, and Peter Maggiore, filed on November 3, 1999 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. The State of New Mexico filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on December 15, 1999.

Southwest Research and Information Center, Deborah Reade, and Betty Richards v. New Mexico Environment Department and Peter Maggiore, filed on November 15, 1999 in the New Mexico Court of Appeals. On April 5, 2000, the Court granted an unopposed motion of Betty Richards to withdraw her appeal. On November 9, 2000, the Court approved a joint stipulation dismissing the case.

United States of America v. State of New Mexico, New Mexico Environment Department, and Peter Maggiore, filed on November 16, 1999 in the New Mexico Court of Appeals. On August 21, 2000, NMED and DOE filed a stipulatikon to dismiss the case.

Tod N. Rockefeller v. State of New Mexico, New Mexico Environment Department and Peter Maggiore, filed on November 29, 1999 in the New Mexico Court of Appeals.

Decisions: On March 22, 2000, Federal District Court Judge Mechem approved a stipulation that granted a stay of 120 days while DOE filed and NMED approved permit modifications to address all of the issues in the DOE lawsuit, except for financial assurance. On April 18, 2000, the New Mexico Court of Appeals approved a stay of the DOE appeal for 120 days while DOE filed and NMED approved permit modifications to address all of the issues in the DOE lawsuit, except for financial assurance. (The order granting the stay was slightly modified on May 10, 2000.

Litigation against the State of New Mexico RCRA Permit Modification

Southwest Research and Information Center, Dara Mark, and Wayne Gibson v. New Mexico Environment Department and Peter Maggiore, filed on May 2, 2000, in the New Mexico Court of Appeals. On May 11, 2000, the appellants filed a motion for a stay in the effectiveness of the class 1 modification related to permit condition IV.B.2.b., which limits waste disposal in Panel 1 at WIPP.

For further information contact us at sricdon@earthlink.net or call (505) 262-1862, fax: (505) 262-1864.


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