Northwest Environmental Advocates v. U.S. Department of Commerce et al

Filing 56

ORDER denying Defendant's 42 Motion for Reconsideration authorized by U.S. District Judge John C Coughenour. (TH)

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THE HONORABLE JOHN C. COUGHENOUR 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 9 10 11 NORTHWEST ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES, CASE NO. C16-1866-JCC MINUTE ORDER Plaintiff, v. 12 13 14 UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, et al., Defendants. 15 16 17 18 19 20 The following Minute Order is made by direction of the Court, the Honorable John C. Coughenour, United States District Judge: This matter comes before the Court on Defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration (Dkt. No. 42) of the Court’s Order on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 39). On September 19, 2017, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendants’ motion 21 to dismiss. (Dkt. No. 39.) Defendants move for reconsideration or, at a minimum, clarification of 22 the Order concerning the Court’s ruling on subject matter jurisdiction for Claims 4 and 5. (Dkt. 23 No. 42 at 1.) Motions for reconsideration are generally disfavored. W.D. Wash. Local Civ. R. 24 7(h)(1). But reconsideration is appropriate where there is “manifest error in the prior ruling or a 25 showing of new facts or legal authority which could not have been brought to [the Court’s] 26 attention earlier with reasonable diligence.” Id. Defendants assert it was manifest error for the MINUTE ORDER C16-1866-JCC PAGE - 1 1 Court to apply procedural injury analysis when Plaintiff expressly disclaimed procedural injury 2 for Claims 4 and 5. (Dkt. No. 42 at 1–2.) Defendants also seek reconsideration of the Court’s 3 Order with respect to Defendants’ mootness argument for Claim 5. (Id.) 4 The Court clarifies that Plaintiff has standing for Claims 4 and 5 based on either 5 Plaintiff’s procedural injury or the traditional standing test. (See Dkt. No. 39 at 6–8) (concluding 6 that Plaintiff’s have standing for Claims 1–5 under either test). Given the Court’s independent 7 obligation to evaluate subject-matter jurisdiction, Washington Envtl. Council v. Bellon, 732 F.3d 8 1131, 1139 (9th Cir. 2013), the Court is not bound by Plaintiff’s reliance on traditional standing 9 for these claims (See Dkt. No. 25 at 48). 10 As to Defendants’ mootness argument for Claim 5, the Court did not misapprehend 11 whether there is any meaningful relief the Court can order. (Dkt. No. 54 at 2.) Relief may include 12 clawing back existing grants or precluding Defendants from making current-year grants until 13 such time as Defendants show they have made reasonable progress determinations pursuant to 33 14 U.S.C. § 1329(h)(8). Nor did the Court overlook or fail to address the fact that every Section 319 15 satisfactory progress determination is based on distinct fact-specific circumstances. (Dkt. No. 42 16 at 4.) Plaintiff alleges Defendants’ 2015 progress determination was arbitrary and capricious 17 because Washington’s 2015 Section 319 Plan “contains no schedule for implementing BMPs and 18 no identified BMPs.” (Dkt. No. 18 at 31.) Plaintiff’s allegations demonstrate the issue is not 19 moot because the situation is capable of repetition but could evade review. This is true in spite of 20 the fact-specific circumstances involved. 21 The Court DENIES Defendant’s motion for reconsideration (Dkt. No. 42). 22 23 DATED this 31st day of October 2017. 24 William M. McCool Clerk of Court 25 s/Tomas Hernandez Deputy Clerk 26 MINUTE ORDER C16-1866-JCC PAGE - 2

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