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United States v. Ralston Purina Co.

Citation: 12 ELR 20257
No. No. 81-00126-01-L, (W.D. Ky., 01/04/1982)

The court enters judgment against a soybean processor for discharging an explosive solvent into the Louisville, Kentucky sewer system in violation of the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The United States' proffer supporting defendant's guilty plea states that defendant discharged 18,000 gallons of hexane which caused a series of explosions in the Louisville sewer system and necessitated a diversion of sewer flow, including hexane, directly into the Ohio River. The judgment, entered pursuant to a plea agreement, finds that defendant (1) unlawfully discharged refuse into a navigable water in violation of the RHA, 33 U.S.C. §§ 407 and 411, (2) negligently discharged pollutants from a point source without a permit in violation of the FWPCA, 33 U.S.C. §§ 1311(a), 1319(c), and 1342, (3) negligently discharged pollutants which created a hazard in publicly owned treatment works in violation of the FWPCA, 33 U.S.C. §§ 1311(a), 1317(d), 1319(c), and 40 C.F.R. § 403.5, and (4) released a hazardous substance into the environment without notifying an appropriate federal agency in violation of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 9603. The court orders defendant to pay a fine of $62,500.

The full texts of the judgment, indictment, and proffer are available from ELR (9 pp. $1.75, ELR Order No. C-1271).

Counsel for Plaintiff
Ann P. Gailis, Raymond W. Mushal
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-5465

Ronald E. Meredith, U.S. Attorney
U.S.P.O. & Cthse., 601 W. Broadway, Louisville KY 40202
(502) 582-5911

Counsel for Defendant
Kenneth L. Anderson
Woodward, Hobson & Fulton
2510 First Nat'l Tower, 101 S. 5th St., Louisville KY 40202
(502) 585-3321

Allen, J.

[OPINION OMITTED BY PUBLISHER IN ORIGINAL SOURCE]