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United States v. Midwest Solvent Recovery, Inc.

Citation: 10 ELR 20316
No. No. H79-556, 484 F. Supp. 138/14 ERC 1826/(N.D. Ind., 01/31/1980)

The court grants the government's motion for a preliminary injunction requiring disposal and cleanup activities at two hazardous waste storage sites in a suit brought under § 7003 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976. The court has jurisdiction pursuant to § 7003 because the government has made an evidentiary showing that toxic wastes on the sites present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health and the environment. The court rejects the government's contention that such a showing is also sufficient to warrant a grant of preliminary injunctive relief, however. Section 7003 is merely a jurisdictional provision and was not intended to create substantive tests of liability. The standards for granting injunctive relief in § 7003 actions are provided by the common law and Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Thus, the government must demonstrate, in addition to the showing under § 7003, that irreparable harm will result if an injunction is not issued. The court rules that the government has in any event satisfied the four common law prerequisites for preliminary injunctive relief and orders defendants to undertake cleanup and disposal activities at one of the sites after notifying the Environmental Protection Agency and to report to the court any changes in the condition of the site.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Erica L. Dolgin
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4496

Counsel for Defendants
William J. O'Connor
O'Connor & Weigle
5272 Hohman Ave., Hammond IN 46320
(219) 937-0500

Gary K. Mathews
McHie, Enslen & Moran
53 Muenich Court, Hammond IN 46320
(219) 931-1700