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United States v. Diamond Shamrock Corp.

Citation: 12 ELR 20819
No. No. C80-1857, 17 ERC 1329/(N.D. Ohio, 05/29/1981)

The district court holds that § 7003 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) provides a substantive cause of action applicable to acts preceding the statute's enactment that resulted in present conditions of imminent hazard. Initially, the court rules that § 7003 establishes a substantive standard of liability. Next, it rules that plaintiff's cause of action under the federal common law of nuisance is precluded by the failure to allege interstate effects of pollution. However, the complaint does state a valid claim under § 7003, notwithstanding that defendant's disposal of hazardous waste ceased four years prior to the enactment of RCRA. The court determines that the language, legislative history, and purposes of RCRA support the conclusion that § 7003 is applicable to present conditions resulting from antecedent acts. The court also rules that this does not constitute an impermissible retroactive application of RCRA.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Kathleen Ann Sutula, U.S. Attorney
Suite 500, 1404 E. 9th St., Cleveland OH 44114
(216) 522-4389

Counsel for Defendant
Dennis M. Kelly, Ronald Jenke
Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue
1700 Union Commerce Bldg., Cleveland OH 44115
(216) 696-3939