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EPA Reply to Responses to Motion for Stay 4/4/2014

EPA Reply to Responses to Motion for Stay 4/4/2014

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Published by freedom1001
EPA Reply to Responses to Motion for Stay 4/4/2014
EPA Reply to Responses to Motion for Stay 4/4/2014

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Published by: freedom1001 on Jun 07, 2014
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12/09/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NORTH DAKOTA STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA, et al., Plaintiffs, vs. Case No. 1:13-cv-109-DLH-CSM GINA McCARTHY, Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Defendant. /
EPA’S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO HOLD CASE IN ABEYANCE
Defendant Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), hereby submits this reply in support of EPA’s motion to hold this matter in abeyance (ECF No. 19). As explained in EPA’s motion, there are three suits pending in three different district courts that all seek to compel the Administrator to perform the same alleged nondiscretionary duty under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”): to complete designations of areas of the country as attaining, not attaining, or being unclassifiable under the 2010 revised  primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (“NAAQS”) for sulfur dioxide (“SO
2
”) as required by CAA Section 107(d)(1)(B), 42 U.S.C. § 7407(d)(1)(B). ECF No. 19 at 2.
Case 1:13-cv-00109-DLH-CSM Document 26 Filed 04/04/14 Page 1 of 7
 
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Plaintiffs the States of North Dakota, Nevada, and Texas, joined by the States of Arizona and Kentucky, are all also parties in the first filed suit, in which the District Court for the Northern District of California has entered summary  judgment as to the Administrator’s liability. Id. at 2-3. The States of North Dakota, Nevada, and Texas are also represented by the same counsel in this case and in the Northern District of California matter. Moreover, the State of North Carolina, also a party in the Northern District Court of California case, filed its own unopposed motion to hold in abeyance its separate case filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina, which the court there granted. The parties in the Northern District of California matter are currently in the  process of briefing the appropriate remedy. In order to conserve the resources of the courts and the parties, EPA has moved for a stay of this action, similar to the stay entered by the District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in response to the State of North Carolina’s motion. Id. at 4-5.
ARGUMENT
“It is well-established that a trial court has the inherent power to stay  proceedings to control its docket, to conserve judicial resources, and to ensure that each matter is handled “‘with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants.’” United States v. Minnkota Power Co-op, Inc., 831 F. Supp. 2d
Case 1:13-cv-00109-DLH-CSM Document 26 Filed 04/04/14 Page 2 of 7
 
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1109, 1118 (D.N.D. 2011) (quoting Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). Here, it would be inefficient and a burden on both the Court’s and the  parties’ resources to have duplicative litigation proceeding in two separate district courts, with differing degrees of progress in addressing the issues to be resolved, and with partially overlapping but partially different sets of parties. It would be far more efficient to allow the first filed and more advanced case, in which all parties in all three cases are parties (except for Plaintiff South Dakota), to progress to resolution. In response to EPA’s motion, Plaintiff South Dakota – the one party in the instant case who chose not to intervene in the Northern District of California case – argues that to hold this case in abeyance would force it out of its chosen forum. ECF No. 22 at 4. However, a party is not guaranteed an absolute right to choose the forum in which a matter will be heard. See, e.g., 28 U.S.C. § 1401(a) (authorizing transfer between district courts); Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 84 S.Ct. 805 (1964) (recognizing that 28 U.S.C. § 1401(a) is meant to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the litigants, witnesses, and the public, and to conserve time, energy, and money). There is likewise no guarantee that this Court would resolve the instant suit on both liability and remedy before the Northern District of California court reaches a decision as to the appropriate remedy. In the
Case 1:13-cv-00109-DLH-CSM Document 26 Filed 04/04/14 Page 3 of 7

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