and Submitted November 4, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Central
District of California No. 2:17-mc-00066-CBM-PJW Consuelo B.
Marshall, District Judge, Presiding
Jeffrey B. Clark (argued), Assistant Attorney General;
Garrett Coyle, Mark R. Haag, and John E. Arbab, Attorneys;
Eric Grant, Deputy Assistant Attorney General; Environment
& Natural Resources Division, United States Department of
Justice, Washington, D.C.; Raymond Porfiri, U.S. Chemical
Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, Washington, D.C.; for
J. Olsen (argued), Matthew R. Cowan, Lauren F. Kaplan, and
John B. Sprangers, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, Los
Angeles, California; Hannah Y. Chanoine, O'Melveny &
Myers LLP, New York, New York; for Respondent-Appellee.
Becerra, Attorney General; Christie Vosburg, Supervising
Deputy Attorney General; James R. Potter, Deputy Attorney
General; Office of the Attorney General, Los Angeles,
California; for Amicus Curiae California Attorney General.
T. Gilchrist, General Counsel; Barbara B. Baird, Chief Deputy
Counsel; Daphne Hsu, Senior Deputy District Counsel; South
Coast Air Quality Management District, Diamond Bar,
California; for Amicus Curiae South Coast Air Quality
Before: Mary M. Schroeder and Michelle T. Friedland, Circuit
Judges, and Lee H. Rosenthal, [*] District Judge.
panel reversed the district court's order denying the
United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Board's petition
to enforce five requests, made pursuant to administrative
subpoenas, issued against Exxon Mobil Corporation following
an explosion and chemical release at an ExxonMobil refinery.
Board challenged only portions of five of the denied requests
that related to the alkylation unit and the modified
hydrofluoric acid stored there. The requests sought
information that was relevant to the February 2015 accidental
panel agreed with the Board's position that its requests
for information and documents related to the alkylation unit
and the modified hydrofluoric acid stored there were related
to its investigation because the risks of damage to the
alkylation unit and an accidental release of modified
hydrofluoric acid were among the "facts, conditions, and
circumstances" of the February 2015 accidental release
from the adjacent fluid catalytic cracking unit.
panel held that a review of the specific disputed requests
confirmed that each sought material that might cast light on
the Board's investigation into the February 2015 release.
The panel reversed the challenged portions of the district
court's ruling that the subpoena requests were
unenforceable and remanded for further proceedings.
an explosion and chemical release at an ExxonMobil refinery,
the United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Board issued
seven subpoenas with a total of 380 requests. ExxonMobil
refused to comply with 56 of the requests. The district court
held a hearing and, after argument, granted the Board's
petition to enforce about half of the disputed requests, but
declined to enforce 27, one in part. The Board appeals the
district court's denial of its petition to enforce only
five of those 27 requests. We hold that, although the