exploitation of resources and environmental protection when it enacted the OCSLA. It recognized the tensions inherent in this dual purpose, and enacted the citizen-suit provision to ensure that environmental factors were given appropriate weight.
This case is precisely the type envisioned by Congress when it enacted the citizen-suit provision. The survival of an endangered species, the bowhead whale, and the preservation of the North Slope environment formed the gravamen of Plaintiffs' complaints, and are concerns directly addressed in the OCSLA and ESA. Moreover, the case presented novel, complex, and manifestly unclear questions concerning the interrelationship between the ESA and OCSLA. Plaintiffs' allegations were well founded, not frivolous. Finally, all of Plaintiffs' counsel were highly competent and thorough in their presentation of this litigation. An award of attorney's fees in the instant action is clearly in the public interest.
Plaintiffs and Defendants have stipulated to an amount of attorney's fees. See page 106, supra. Defendants have attempted to withdraw the stipulation only because the Department of Interior objects to the award of fees, not because they stipulated to an excessive amount. Considering the complexity of this litigation, the time necessarily spent by counsel, the excellent quality of representation, and the prevailing market rates for comparable legal services, see Copeland v. Marshall, at 891-894, 902, 905-906, the award contained in the stipulation appears modest. Plaintiffs, however, seeking to avoid further litigation, have strongly urged the Court to approve that award. It is therefore by the Court this 3rd day of February, 1981,
ORDERED, that the Federal Defendants shall pay as compensation for the attorney's fees and costs which Plaintiffs incurred for their representation before this Court in this proceeding the amounts of $ 30,000.00 to North Slope Borough, et al., $ 14,000.00 to the National Wildlife Federation, et al., and $ 15,500.00 to the Village of Kaktovik, et al.; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, that said payment shall be made on or before February 27, 1981.
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