Sunday, May 12, 2013

City of West Chicago, Illinois v. NRC case brief

City of West Chicago, Illinois v. NRC case brief
701 F.2d 632, 19 ERC 1006 (7th Cir. 1983)

CASE SYNOPSIS: Petitioner city sought judicial review of respondent United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) order, which granted a license amendment to respondent-intervenor chemical company. The city appealed the order of the United States District Court for Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, which dismissed its mandamus action for lack of jurisdiction.

FACTS: The city opposed the NRC's amendment to the chemical company's source materials license. The city sought an injunction against the NRC and the chemical company, challenging the amendment, the NRC's delay in issuing an environmental impact statement (EIS) and plan for chemical company's thorium site, and the lack of notice and a hearing. The lower court dismissed the city's complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The city sought appellate review of the NRC's actions and challenged the lower court's judgment. The court upheld the NRC's order, concluding that the amendment was not arbitrarily granted. Moreover, the NRC complied with § 189(a) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA), codified at 42 U.S.C.S. § 2239, 5 U.S.C.S. § 509, due process, and its own regulations because an informal hearing was held and the public interest did not require a formal hearing. Nor was the city prejudiced by the NRC's one-week notice of its rule changes. The city had an opportunity to comment on the NRC's decision not to issue an EIS, which was not an arbitrary determination. Thus, the NRC complied with 42 U.S.C.S. § 4332. Finally, the lower court had no jurisdiction to review the NRC's actions.

CONCLUSION: The court upheld the order of the NRC and affirmed the lower court's dismissal of the city's mandamus action.

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