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United States v. Frezzo Bros.

Citation: 11 ELR 20914
No. No. 80-2141, 642 F.2d 59/15 ERC 1733/(3d Cir., 03/04/1981) Rev'g denial of habeas corpus

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturns appellants' convictions under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act for discharging pollutants from mushroom compost manufacturing operations without a permit. Environmental Protection Agency regulations governing its national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) exempted agricultural pollution other than discharges from agricultural point sources, which were defined as conveyances of irrigation return flows. Since the discharges from appellants' holding tank were not irrigation return flows, the court rules that appellants fairly deduced that the discharges were not pollution from agricultural point sources and were thus exempt from the NPDES permit requirements. Though the court assumes, for purposes of its decision, that the discharges constituted agricultural pollution, it remands the case to the district court to determine whether the pollution was, in fact, agricultural.

Counsel for Appellants
John Rogers Carroll, Thomas Colas Carroll
Carroll & Carroll
Three Penn Center Plaza, Philadelphia PA 19102
(215) 568-5200

Counsel for Appellee
Peter F. Vaira, U.S. Attorney; Walter S. Batty Jr., Bruce J. Chasan, Ass't U.S. Attorneys
3310 U.S. Cthse., 601 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19106
(215) 597-2556