Genuinely Interested Party to Environmental Issues

In Environmental Protection Information Center v. Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (1996) the court found the plaintiff association in that case showed it was a genuinely interested party with respect to environmental issues. (Id. at p. 1019.) The court further found that, to the extent federal standing rules would deny standing to such an association, the federal law is not applicable in this state. (Id. at p. 1020.) However, the court did not explicitly reject federal rules in their entirety. With respect to other aspects of the standing requirement, our law has been said to be consistent with federal law. (See Carsten v. Psychology Examining Com., supra, 27 Cal. 3d at p. 797; Brotherhood of Teamsters & Auto Truck Drivers v. Unemployment Ins. Appeals Bd. (1987) 190 Cal. App. 3d 1515, 1521, fn. 3 [236 Cal. Rptr. 78].) And with respect to the California Environmental Quality Act, federal authorities are considered persuasive. (No Oil, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles (1974) 13 Cal. 3d 68, 86, fn. 21 [118 Cal. Rptr. 34, 529 P.2d 66]; Del Mar Terrace Conservancy, Inc. v. City Council (1992) 10 Cal. App. 4th 712, 732 [12 Cal. Rptr. 2d 785].) Although the federal law of standing is persuasive, it is not binding on state courts. Accordingly, we do not refer to the federal "zone of interests" standard as binding authority. Rather, we cite it because it aptly states a qualification that is implicit in our rules of standing, i.e., the plaintiff's interest in the legal duty asserted must be direct rather than indirect or attenuated. (See Parker v. Bowron (1953) 40 Cal. 2d at p. 351; Ellis v. Workman (1904) 144 Cal. at p. 115.) An interest, including a financial or commercial interest, which is not within the zone of interests to be protected or regulated by the asserted legal duty, can only be an indirect interest from the standpoint of the law.