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United States v. Oxford Royal Mushroom Prods., Inc.

Citation: 10 ELR 20549
No. No. 79-211, 487 F. Supp. 852/14 ERC 1321/(E.D. Pa., 02/04/1980)

In a proceeding in which the United States seeks criminal penalties for unauthorized discharges from defendants' croplands, the court denies motions to dismiss and to suppress.Contrary to defendants' arguments, the discharge from their water treatment system constitutes a point source under § 502 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The court also rejects the claim that the stream into which the discharge flowed does not constitute a "navigable water" as used in the Act, since that term was intended by Congress to be given the broadest possible meaning consistent with the Constitution. Neither that nor other terms in the Act are void for vagueness. In addition, the court finds no impropriety in the decision of the U.S. Attorney to initiate a criminal action against the defendants rather than refer the matter to the Environmental Protection Agency. Finally, the court dismisses a series of other pretrial motions, including one based on defendants' claim that an Assistant U.S. Attorney had improperly acted as both a witness and a prosecutor before the grand jury.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Peter F. Vaira, U.S. Attorney; Bruce J. Chasan, Ass't U.S. Attorney
3310 U.S. Courthouse, Independence Mall West, Philadelphia PA 19106
(215) 597-2556

Counsel for Defendants
Richard R. Galli
Krusen, Evans & Byrne
Public Ledger Bldg., Independence Square, Philadephia PA 19106
(215) 923-4400

J. Clayton Undercofler
Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish, Levy & Kauffman
2600 Fidelity Bldg., Philadelphia PA 19109
(215) 546-3000

Thomas A. Bergstrom
Suite 1401, Two Penn Center Plaza, Philadelphia PA 19102
(215) 569-2444