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Claims of unreasonable agency delay clearly fall into that narrow class of interlocutory appeals from agency action over which a court should appropriately should exercise its jurisdiction. It is obvious that the benefits of agency expertise and creation of a record will not be realized if the agency never takes action. Agency delay claims also meet suggested criteria for interlocutory intervention. Finally and most significantly, Congress has instructed statutory review courts to compel agency action that has been unreasonably delayed. 5 U.S.C. § 706(1). 

In the context of a claim of unreasonable delay, the first stage of judicial inquiry is to consider whether the agency's delay is so egregious as to warrant mandamus. Although the second circuit has decided several cases involving claims of unreasonable delay, see, e.g., PCHRG v. FDA, 740 F.2d 21 (D.C.Cir.1984); Public Citizen Health Research Group v. Auchter, 226 U.S. App. D. C. 413, 702 F.2d 1150 (D.C. Cir. 1983); PEPCO, 702 F.2d 1026 (D.C.Cir.1983); MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. FCC ('MCI'), 200 U.S. App. D. C. 269, 627 F.2d 322 (D.C. Cir. 1980); Nader v. FCC, 172 App. D. C. 1, 520 F.2d 182 (D.C. Cir. 1975), it has not articulated ...

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