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Sierra Club v. Leslie Salt Co.

Citation: 2 ELR 20662
No. No. 72 561-WTS, 354 F. Supp. 1099/4 ERC 1663/(N.D. Cal., 10/23/1972) Motion to dismiss denied

The Sierra Club brings an action to compel the removal of Leslie Salt's dikes which enclose abandoned evaporation flats in San Francisco Bay, basing its claim upon §§ 401, 403, and 406 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, which provide for civil injunctive relief. Distinguishing these sections from §§ 407 and 411 which contain only criminal sanctions, the court interprets the Ninth Circuit's decision in Alameda Conservation Association v. California, 1 ELR 20097, to allow plaintiffs other than the Attorney General to bring suits under § 406 for injunctive relief. [Unnoted in the opinion is the recent inclusion by the Corps of Engineers of marshlands in the definition of navigable waters, which would add to the significance of the present case, 37 Fed. Reg. 18289, Sept. 9, 1972.] Plaintiffs are found to meet the "injury in fact" test of Sierra Club v. Morton, 2 ELR 20192, for standing. Joinder of the Secretary of the Army and the State of California is found unnecessary.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
John D. Hoffman
Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund
311 California Street, Suite 311
San Francisco, California 94104

Counsel for Defendants
Landell, Ripley & Diamond
3300 Crocker Plaza
San Francisco, California 94104