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United States v. Lofgren

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20164
Nos. No. 82-74063, (E.D. Mich., 11/30/1982)

The court grants the United States' application for a preliminary injunction against fill activities in Lake Huron conducted without a permit in violation of §10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and §404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Initially, the court rejects defendants' interpretation of the Supreme Court's decision in Weinberger v. Romero-Barcelo, 12 ELR 20538. The court rules that there need not be a clear showing of irreparable injury to the United States and of the inadequacy of legal remedies for an injunction to issue, nor will an injunction issue merely upon application of the agency. Instead, it rules, courts must consider the public interest in exercising their equitable discretion.

In conclusion, the court enjoins defendants' fill activities because it finds that (1) the United States has demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits, (2) the United States has shown irreparable injury to the permit process and from existing fill activities, (3) there is no substantial harm to defendants that was not self-inflicted, and (4) the public interest in the integrity of the permit process will be served by issuance of the injunction.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Geneva S. Halliday, Michael Hluchaniuk, Ass't U.S. Attorneys
817 Fed. Bldg., Detroit MI 48226
(313) 226-2163

Counsel for Defendants
Michael J. Hackett
Lyon, Mellow & Hackett
P.O. Box 248, Cheyboygan MI 49721
(616) 627-3138