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Pittsburgh Coal Co. v. Sanitary Water Bd.

Citation: 2 ELR 20339
No. No. 261 C.D. 1970, 286 A.2d 459/3 ERC 1752/4 Pa. Commw. 407, (Pa. Commw. Ct., 01/18/1972)

The Sanitary Water Board may not under the "Clean Streams Law" require the operator of a deep mine, as a condition to the discharge of his own mine drainage, to treat waters of the Commonwealth that have flowed or seeped into the operator's active mine from an underground pool formed by inactive independent mines, when that water was polluted before entry into the active deep mine and upon its removal from the active deep mine the level of the water's pollution is not increased. The Board's interpretation of the statute would constitute an unreasonable exercise of the state's police power and an unconstitutional burden upon the mine owner's property rights because there would be no rational relationship between the evil sought to be cured and the regulation of the property.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Harold R. Schmidt
Henry McC. Ingram
Robert S. Barker
9th Floor Oliver Bldg.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222

Counsel for Defendant
Richard B. Springer
William M. Gross Asst. Attorneys General
709 Health & Welfare Bldg.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120

Before: James S. Bowman, President Judge, James C. Crumlish, Jr., Judge, Harry A. Kramer, Judge, Glenn E. Mencer, Judge, Theodore O. Rogers, Judge

Judges Wilkerson and Manderino did not sit.