Res. Inv., Inc. v. United States, No. 14-5069 (Fed. Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
RI purchased 320 acres in Washington State for use as a landfill and, in 1989, applied for state permits. Because the proposed landfill involved filling wetland areas, it sought a Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. State permits issued in 1996. In 1994, the Corps required an Environmental Impact Statement; its draft EIS preliminarily concluded that RI had not demonstrated that there were no practicable alternatives to the proposed landfill (40 C.F.R. 230.10(a)). RI terminated the process. The Corps denied the application. In 1996, RI sued, alleging that the process and denial violated the CWA and was arbitrary. The district court upheld the decision, but the Ninth Circuit reversed, citing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. 6941, under which regulation of municipal solid waste in landfills constructed on wetlands lies solely with the EPA or states with EPA-approved programs. The landfill became operational in 1999. In 1998, while the Ninth Circuit appeal was pending, RI filed suit in the Court of Federal Claims, alleging unconstitutional taking. The court dismissed, citing 28 U.S.C. 1500: the Claims Court “shall not have jurisdiction of any claim for or in respect to which the plaintiff or his assignee has pending in any other court any suit or process against the United States.” The Federal Circuit affirmed.