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Public Citizen and San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Close Date: 09/21/2004
Topic(s): Hazardous Substances and Environmental Protection
Status: closed
Date Of Involvement: 07/01/2003
Docket: 03-1181

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Description:

Public Citizen and the California anti-nuclear group San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace have challenged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's effort to bypass lawful rulemaking procedures in addressing nuclear facilities' security against terrorist attacks. The Commission revised its rule defining the threats against which plants must protect themselves without notice or public comment, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, the Atomic Energy Act, and the NRC's own regulations. Public Citizen and the Mothers for Peace asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to compel the agency to follow lawful procedures as it addresses this important safety issue.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an order that effectively tells the agency to provide the rulemaking proceeding sought in the lawsuit. Technically, the order holds the case “in abeyance” to give the agency an opportunity to make good on its assurance to the court that it now intends to conduct a proper rulemaking. If the agency fails to live up to that commitment, the lawsuit would be revived.