Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

United States v. Hagberg

Citation: 30 ELR 20436
No. No. 99-30112, 207 F.3d 569/50 ERC 1380/(9th Cir., 03/22/2000)

The court holds that a district court erroneously dismissed an indictment charging an individual for knowingly disposing of domestic septage on a public contact site in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The individual allegedly pumped sewage material from a septic tank located at a bar and then discharged the sewage along a 1.6-mile stretch of road. The court first holds that the individual's alleged discharge of the sewage material from the bar is covered by the CWA. The regulatory definitions of "sewage sludge" and "domestic septage" combine unequivocally to demonstrate that the individual's conduct is covered by the CWA. The court next holds that once the government has shown that the material the individual allegedly discharged came from a septic tank receiving only domestic sewage, it has automatically shown that the material came from a treatment works treating domestic sewage. Therefore, the district court erred in concluding that the bar's septic tank was not a "treatment works" engaged in "treatment" and that the material at issue was not "sewage sludge."

Counsel for Plaintiff
Ethan G. Shenkman
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

Counsel for Defendant
Mark S. Werner, Ass't Federal Defender
Federal Defender's Office
P.O. Box 1778, Billings MT 59103
(406) 259-2459

Before Kleinfield and Silverman, JJ.