Administrative Procedure Act
5 U.S.C. § 702 authorizes persons who are adversely affected by federal agency action (or agency inaction) to seek judicial review of that action (or compel agency action withheld or delayed). Such actions include, for example, a "finding of no significant impact" by a federal agency under the National Environmental Policy Act and the issuance of permits by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the discharge of dredge or fill material into waters under 33 U.S.C. § 1344 and 40 C.F.R. Part 230. The federal agency action must be final and no other statute may provide for adequate review. 5 U.S.C. § 704.
The court may hold unlawful and set aside agency action, findings, and conclusions found to be (A) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law; (B) contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege, or immunity; (C) in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right; or (D) without observance of procedure required by law. The court may compel agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed. 5 U.S.C. § 706. Judicial review is normally limited to the record made before the agency, i.e., new evidence is not admissible in court. Thus, persons must be sure to present to the agency prior to the final agency action that evidence they intend to rely on in court.
The court shall award to the prevailing party (other than the United States) modest attorney fees and expenses unless the court finds that the position of the United States was substantially justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust. 28 U.S.C. § 2412.