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United States v. Olin Corp.

Citation: 11 ELR 21026
No. No. CV 80-M-5300, (N.D. Ala., 05/20/1981) Dismissal of fed. common law claims

In a suit seeking abatement of DDT discharges from a facility in which the pesticide was formerly manufactured, the court dismisses a water pollution claim based on the federal common law of nuisance in light of two recent Supreme Court decisions. The court rejects the United States' argument that the federal common law of nuisance applies to non-point discharges which originated prior to the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments or to pollution not involving water. The Supreme Court has held that the 1972 amendments established a comprehensive statutory scheme to control water pollution leaving no room for the courts to apply the federal common law of nuisance. Even in the absence of the 1972 amendments, the court would dismiss the federal common law claim since the state law of nuisance is applicable and therefore there is no need for a federal common law remedy.

[The issues raised in this opinion are analyzed at 11 ELR 10191 — Ed.]

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Elizabeth Todd Camel, U.S. Attorney
Fed. Cthse., Birmingham AL 35203
(205) 254-1701

Angus C. MacBeth, Kenneth Reich, George C. Lawrence
Landsand Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2280

Alex S. Karlin
Enforcement Division
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 755-8731

Counsel for Defendants
G. Lee Garrett Jr.
Hansell, Post, Brandon & Dorsey
3300 First Nat'l Bank Tower, Atlanta GA 30303
(404) 581-8000

Donald F. Pierce, W. Alexander Moseley
Hand, Arendall, Bedsole, Greaves & Johnston
P.O. Box 123, Drawer C, Mobile AL 36602
(205) 432-5511