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Manufacturing Chemists Ass'n v. Costle

Citation: 8 ELR 20589
No. No. 78-0578, 451 F. Supp. 902/11 ERC 1792/(W.D. La., 06/08/1978) Injunction issued

The court grants plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction restraining implementation of Environmental Protection Agency regulations to enforce § 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, which establishes a comprehensive reporting, liability, and cleanup scheme governing the discharge of hazardous substances into navigable waters. Applying the traditional standard for the issuance of preliminary relief, the court finds (1) that the plaintiffs have demonstrated that they are faced with irreparable injury should the regulations be implemented because the regulations would immediately subject violators to civil liability without opportunity to bring their facilities into compliance or to challenge the validity of the regulations; (2) that neither the interests of defendants nor the public at large will be significantly harmed should preliminary relief be granted, in light of the fact that the regulations have been in various stages of planning for six years; and (3) that plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of prevailing on their claim that the regulations are not in accord with the mandate of § 311 of the Act. Defendants' use of one pound as the "harmful quantity" of those substances found in the most toxic category is based on considerations of administrative and industrial convenience, factors which are not authorized under § 311. The remainder of plaintiffs' claims are deferred until trial on the merits.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Robert B. Owen, Theodore L. Garrett
Covington & Burling
888 16th St. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 452-6000

Gene W. Lafitte, John M. Wilson, J. Berry St. John, Jr.
Liskow & Lewis
One Shell Square, 50th Floor, New Orleans LA 70139
(504) 581-7979

Counsel for Defendants
Frances O. Allen, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 33, Shreveport LA 71161
(318) 226-5277

Donald W. Fowler
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2793

Counsel for Intervenor Association of American Railroads
Robert L. Ackerly, John D. Conner, Joe G. Hollingsworth, Richard A. Flye
Sellers, Conner & Cuneo
1625 K St. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 452-7500

Timothy B. Atkeson, Steven Ailes, Allan Gates
Steptoe & Johnson
1250 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 862-2000