Union of Concerned Scientists v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 19-1383 (1st Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
In this case arising from a directive issued by the EPA that prohibits EPA grant recipients from sitting on the EPA's twenty-two scientific advisory committees the First Circuit reversed in part the judgment of the district court dismissing the complaint for a lack of justiciability and failure to state a claim, holding that EPA's challenged directive was judicially reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.
In 2017, the EPA former director issued the directive. The complaint alleged that the new directive disqualified thousands of scientists affiliated with academic and not-for-profit institutions. Count I alleged that the directive violated the APA's reasoned decision-making standard. Count II alleged that the directive conflicted with directives issued by the General Services Administration and regulations of the Office of Governmental Ethics. Counts III and IV alleged violations of the Federal Advisory Committee Act's requirements for advisory committees. The district court dismissed all counts, concluding that they raised questions unreviewable under the APA and, alternatively, that the first and second counts failed to state a claim on the merits. The First Circuit reversed the district court's decision on Counts III and IV, holding that the challenged directive was judicially reviewable under the APA.