Karen P. Ryan


Notice requirements of citizen suit provisions in environmental statutes require that notice of an intention to bring a lawsuit for violation of an environmental statute be given at least sixty days prior to the filing of an action. Notice of such an intention must be given to the Environmental Protection Agency, the state in which the violation occurred, and the alleged violator. In Hallstrom v. Tillamook County, the Supreme Court held that the notice requirements for citizen suit provisions of environmental statutes must be strictly interpreted. According to the author, this decision exalts form over substance and does nothing to further the purpose of providing for citizen suits. This Note examines the Hallstrom decision and purposes behind notice provisions. The author concludes that these provisions should be pragmatically interpreted, providing courts with the discretion to modify or waive the notice requirements for a citizen suit depending on the individual circumstances of an individual case.