The U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied Coast Seafood’s petition for en banc review. The Court has discretion to allow en banc review by 11 judges where there are grounds to do so.
OFCO alleges that Coast Seafoods is violating the federal Clean Water Act by discharging pollutants from an oyster hatchery on Quilcene Bay without a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Coast previously had claimed its oyster hatchery is the world’s largest shellfish hatchery, capable of producing over 45 billion eyed oyster larvae per year. Coast moved to dismiss the case and lost at the District Court, saying it was not required to apply for a permit. In March the Ninth Circuit decided that Coast is not exempt from the permit requirements.
The case will go back to federal District Court for decision unless Coast chooses to apply for a permit and settle the case. Coast also has the option of appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.