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Boeing Co. v. Movassaghi

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

September 19, 2014

THE BOEING COMPANY, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MAZIAR MOVASSAGHI, in his official capacity as the Acting Director of the California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control; LEONARD ROBINSON, in his official capacity as the Acting Director of the California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control, Defendants, and DEBBIE RAPHAEL, in her official capacity as the Acting Director of the California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control, Defendant-Appellant

Submitted, Pasadena, California: May 31, 2013 [*].

Page 833

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. 2:10-cv-04839-JFW-MAN. John F. Walter, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[**]

Environmental Law

The panel affirmed the district court's decision that a California law governing cleanup of a federal nuclear site violated the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity.

The Boeing Co. challenged the validity of California's Senate Bill 990, which prescribes cleanup standards for radioactive contamination at Santa Susana Field Laboratory. SB 990 requires that the site be made suitable for subsistence farming, a more demanding standard than that imposed by a plan adopted by the federal Department of Energy.

The panel held that Boeing had standing because as landowner, it established injury in fact.

The panel held that SB 990 violated the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity because it regulated DOE's cleanup activities directly in violation of the Supremacy Clause. In addition, SB 990 discriminated against the federal government and Boeing as a federal contractor hired to perform the cleanup of the Santa Susana site.

The panel did not reach the question of whether the federal laws governing nuclear materials and cleanup of hazardous substances preempted the state law. It also did not reach Boeing's claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for a declaratory judgment and an injunction.

Brian W. Hembacher, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Los Angeles, California, for Defendant-Appellant.

Randolph D. Moss, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, D.C., for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Daniel P. Selmi, Los Angeles, California, for Amici Curiae Southern California Federation of Scientists, Los Angeles Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Rocketdyne Cleanup Coalition, and Committee to Bridge the Gap.

David C. Shilton, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., for Amicus Curiae United States.

Before: Alfred T. Goodwin, Andrew J. Kleinfeld, and Barry G. Silverman, Circuit Judges. Opinion by ...


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