were held in chambers during the summer of 1982.
In June 1982, plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction to halt the proposed resumption of a washdown of the subway tunnel track drain which had resulted previously in milky white, sediment-laden discharges into Little Falls Branch. The Court granted a temporary restraining order on June 16 to halt the planned washdown. On June 24, the Court granted a preliminary injunction which permitted the washdown so long as the discharge was diverted into a Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission sewer line.
III. The Consent Decree
WMATA and plaintiffs arrived at a settlement, approved and entered by this Court on October 4, 1982 as a consent decree, which required WMATA to address the pollution problem at the bus yard and subway tunnel sources and begin to restore the stream to its pre-discharge condition. WMATA also agreed to pay $ 10,000 damages to the Little Falls Branch Improvement Fund, and plaintiffs' costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees.
Several public benefits have resulted from this lawsuit. Among them are WMATA's activities in mapping and managing the underground oil plume so that it will not directly or indirectly contaminate the Little Falls Branch; hiring of an experienced environmental consulting firm to develop and supervise proper remedial plans; developing a spill prevention, control and countermeasures plan for the bus yard; and developing a system to detect leaks in the underground storage tanks at an early time. The difficulty in negotiating the decree was due in part to the complex technical engineering problems involved in this case. See Declaration of Timothy G. Shea (filed March 11, 1983). Plaintiffs have monitored WMATA's compliance by reviewing the numerous reports required by the consent decree.
IV. Plaintiffs' Entitlement to a Fee Award
In issuing a final order in any citizens suit under the Clean Water Act, the court may award costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, "whenever the court determines such award is appropriate." § 505(d) of the Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1365(d). WMATA does not dispute that reasonable fees are appropriate in this case. See Article VIII of the Consent Decree; Defendant's Brief in Opposition, at 4 (Defendant's Opposition). However, WMATA contends that the number of hours claimed and the hourly rates requested are unreasonable.
On October 29, 1982, plaintiffs submitted their statement to WMATA in accordance with Article VIII of the Consent Decree for $ 88,344.13. That figure included $ 10,777.50 for attorney fees and $ 185.76 in expenses to the Mazza Gallerie, items not involved in this motion. See Declaration of Jeffrey G. Miller, Exhibit Q (filed Feb. 4, 1983). WMATA offered to pay $ 6,623 of this amount. Id., Exhibit R. Plaintiffs then filed the instant motion for an award of fees and costs in the amount of $ 71,926.40.
V. Calculation of the Award
Analysis of an award of attorneys' fees begins with determining the "lodestar" amount. "Any fee-setting inquiry begins with the "lodestar": the number of hours multiplied by a reasonable hourly rate. The figure generated by that computation is the basic fee from which a trial court judge should work." Copeland v. Marshall, 205 U.S. App. D.C. 390, 641 F.2d 880, 891 (D.C. Cir. 1980) (en banc). See also National Association of Concerned Veterans v. Secretary of Defense, 219 U.S. App. D.C. 94, 675 F.2d 1319 (D.C. Cir. 1982); Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. v. Environmental Protection Agency, 217 U.S. App. D.C. 189, 672 F.2d 42 (D.C. Cir. 1982).
A. Hours Expended
The number of hours reasonably expended involves consideration of the kinds of work performed and whether any actual hours expended were duplicative or nonproductive. Copeland v. Marshall, supra at 891.
The actual hours expended by the plaintiffs' three attorneys follow:
Actual Hours Expended
Jeffrey G. Miller 347.6 hours
Angus Macbeth 32.2 hours
Matthew Weston-Dawkes 360.5 hours
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