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Clean Water Act (CWA) Research

EPA Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) Decisions

The U.S. EPA’s Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) is an independent office in the Office of Administration and Resources Management.  ALJs conduct hearings and render decisions in proceedings between EPA and persons, businesses, government agencies and other organizations which are or alleged to be regulated under environmental laws.
 
ALJs preside in enforcement and permit proceedings in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Most enforcement actions initiated by the EPA are for the assessment of civil penalties. 
 
Decisions issued by the ALJs are subject to review by the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB). The ALJs' initial decision, which is a disposition of all of the issues in a proceeding, becomes the final order of the EPA within 45 days after service upon the parties unless a party appeals to the EAB or the EAB on its own initiative elects to review the initial decision.

EPA Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) Decisions

Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) was established by the Administrator of the EPA on January 27, 1992. (57 Fed. Reg. 5320 (1992)). Prior to the creation of the EAB, administrative appeals were decided by the EPA Administrator, Chief Judicial Officer and Judicial Officers.

Decisions of the EAB are final and may not be further appealed to the EPA Administrator. However, EAB decisions may be appealed to a federal court.
 
Environmental Administrative Decisions: Decisions of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (E.A.D.) is the official reporter for EPA Environmental Appeals Board published decisions and pre-EAB decisions which were issued by the Chief Judicial Officer (CJO) and the EPA Administrator (Adm'r).  
 
Current slip opinions and published decisions (with an E.A.D. citation) are available through the EAB's website. Print E.A.D. volumes often are published years after online decisions.
 

Unpublished final orders issued by the EAB are not published in the bound E.A.D. volumes but are available through the EAB's website.  Orders issued prior to November 1996 are not available online, but may be requested from the Clerk of the Board.

Federal and State Court Decisions

Citations

ALJ decisions:

  • In re Gold Crest Chemical Corp., No. EPCRA-III-0160, 1992 EPA ALJ LEXIS 676

Pre-EAB decisions issued by the Chief Judicial Officer (CJO):

  • In re Boliden-Metech, Inc., 3 E.A.D. 439 (CJO 1990)

Pre-EAB decisions issued by the EPA Administrator (Adm'r):

  • In re Cecos International, Inc., 3 E.A.D. 77 (Adm'r 1990)

EAB decisions:

  • In re Amoco Oil Co., 4 E.A.D. 954 (EAB 1993)

An example of a citation to a specific page of that opinion:

  • In re Amoco Oil Co., 4 E.A.D. 954, 956 (EAB 1993)

Environmental Reporter Cases (ERC):

  • American Mining Congress v. EPA, 35 ERC 1032 (9th Cir. 1992)