9th Circuit's Strong Words for EPA's Office of Civil Rights

by Ben Somberg

September 21, 2009

As first reported by Law 360 on Thursday:

In a decision reversing a ruling in favor of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a federal appeals court has chastised the agency's Office of Civil Rights for what the court said was its apparent failure to consider alleged civil rights violations in a timely manner.

“What the district court initially classified as an 'isolated instance of untimeliness' has since bloomed into a consistent pattern of delay by the EPA,” wrote Judge A. Wallace Tashima in the three-judge panel's opinion, filed Thursday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Here's the opinion, and more from Greenwire. Chris Winter of the Crag Law Center, the Rosemere Neighborhood Association's attorney in the case, declares in a press release: “For years, EPA’s Office of Civil Rights ignored civil rights complaints from all across the country. This case sheds light on a long-standing national struggle for justice. OCR is in desperate need of reform.”

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