Ninth Circuit Gives Citizens Suit Against U.S. Forest Service New Life


In the case of Center for Biological Diversity, et. al v. U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in an unpublished opinion released on January 12, 2016, reversed the lower court’s dismissal of a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act legs(RCRA) Citizens Suit filed against the U.S. Forest Service which alleged that the U.S. Forest Service violated the RCRA by failing to regulate the disposal of spent lead ammunition in a national forest. Reviewing the allegations in the complaint, the Court of Appeals held that the plaintiffs had established standing—their claims are “not wholly insubstantial or frivolous.” The Court of Appeals noted that the government could make the argument in the lower court that the U.S. Forest Service was not a “contributor” to the solid waste problem, something the RCRA Citizen Suit provision requires.

Photo:  ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser, Painty Legs – Creative Commons