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Treasure Island, City of v. St. Petersburg, City of

Citation: 40 ELR 20016
No. No. 8:09-cv-1317, (M.D. Fla., 01/06/2010)

A district court remanded to state court a city's CWA and state law claims against another city challenging its imposition of a 25% surcharge on wastewater treatment services. The plaintiff city seeks a declaration that the surcharge violates the CWA. Although the plaintiff city referred to the federal CWA and its implementing regulations in its complaint, that alone is not enough to confer federal jurisdiction. A complaint alleging the violation of a federal statute as an element of a state cause of action does not necessarily state a claim arising under the laws of the United States when Congress created no private, federal right of action for the violation of the federal law. With the limited exception of a citizen's suit under 33 U.S.C. §1365(a), the CWA contains no private right of action. Here, there is no private right of action under the CWA applicable to the case and the complaint does not implicate a substantial question of federal law. Nor can it be said that the CWA and its regulations completely preempt state law. The court, therefore, remanded the case to state court.

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