Brief Fact Summary. Chemical Waste Management and Waste Management of North America (Petitioners) sought review of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that establish informal procedures for administrative hearings concerning the issuance of corrective action orders under Section:3008(h) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as modified by Section:6928(h) of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Court employed the analysis set forth by the Supreme Court of the United States in Chevron for judicial review of an agency’s interpretation of a statute under its administration. First, ask whether Congress has directly spoken to the issue, and, if so, “give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress. If the statute is silent or ambiguous, then ask “whether the agency’s answer is based on a permissible construction of the statute,” and, if so, defer to the agency’s interpretation.
Issue. Was the agency required to conduct formal hearings under Section:3008(h)?
Held. No. The Petition for review was denied. The regulations represented a reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statutory provision and were not, on their face, inconsistent with the requirement of due process. Dissent. None. Concurrence. None.
Discussion. In accordance with Chevron, the court will evaluate the reasonableness of the agency’s interpretation using the normal tools of statutory interpretation- such as legislative history, structural inferences, or exceptional circumstances. The agency provided a reasonable explanation for its choice of informal procedures in Part 24, based on the number and nature of factual issues expected in a typical Section:3008(h) proceeding.