Plaintiffs, a producer of pesticides and a non-profit trade association representing manufacturers of pesticides, challenge certain regulations enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement the 1978 amendments to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 U.S.C. § 136 et seq. Specifically, plaintiffs contend that the regulations in question, 40 C.F.R. §§ 162.9-3 through 162.9-5,
exceed the enabling authority vested in the EPA by section 3(c) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. § 136a(c).
In Mobay Chemical Corp. v. Gorsuch, 682 F.2d 419 (3rd Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 988, 103 S. Ct. 343, 74 L. Ed. 2d 384 (1982), the Court deferred reaching the same issue (presented by another pesticide manufacturer) as it accepted the argument that the regulations were promulgated in violation of the notice-and-comment and effective date requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 553(b) & (d), 706(2) (D).
Id. at 425. To avoid confusion, however, the court delayed issuance of its mandate for six months, during which time the EPA was to take all necessary steps to promulgate regulations in accordance with the APA.
Id. at 427.
On or about July 6, 1982 the EPA submitted to the Third Circuit a motion for panel reconsideration or for further stay of issuance of the mandate in Mobay Chemical.4 Then, on November 27, 1982 the EPA issued a proposed rule, readopting the original regulations. Regulations for the Enforcement of FIFRA; Compensation for Use of Data, 47 Fed. Reg. 57,635, 57,636-37 (1982).
Since Mobay Chemical and an earlier case, Chevron Chemical Co. v. Costle, 641 F.2d 104 (3rd Cir.), cert. denied, 452 U.S. 961, 101 S. Ct. 3110, 69 L. Ed. 2d 972 (1981), present a detailed explication of the legislative history of FIFRA, this Court incorporates the analysis in those opinions instead of duplicating them. The regulations challenged by the plaintiffs in this litigation are commonly known as the "cite-all" regulations. 40 C.F.R. §§ 162.9-3 -- 162.9-5 (redesignated as proposed 40 C.F.R. §§ 162.185 - 162.190, 47 Fed. Reg. at 57,636). They require applicants for registration of pesticides to "cite all" data in EPA files which are pertinent to an evaluation of the pesticide in question, and to compensate each person or company who originally generated such data. See Mobay Chemical, 682 F.2d at 424.
Plaintiffs argue that section 3(c) (1) (D) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. § 136a(c) (1) (D), provides two alternative procedures for supporting a pesticide registration application: (1) a full description of the applicant's own test data, or (2) a citation to the public literature or to previously submitted data. According to plaintiffs, since the regulations require applicants to submit both types of information they do not comport with the statutory prescription.
Defendant asserts that plaintiffs' premise overlooks the fact that the EPA will not confine its inquiry to the data provided by an applicant if a broader range of information exists. Moreover, defendant contends that the "cite-all" requirement is a fair method for effectuating the EPA's "generic standards program" for registration of pesticides. See Memorandum in Support of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment at 31-38, 52-54.
The Court begins with the well settled principle that the starting point for construing statutory language is the wording of the statute itself, giving it its plain, clear and common meaning. Photo Data, Inc. v. Sawyer, 533 F. Supp. 348, 350 (D.D.C. 1982) (and cases cited therein). Section 3(c) (1) of FIFRA provides, in pertinent part:
Each applicant for registration of a pesticide shall file with the Administrator [of the EPA] a statement which includes --