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United States v. Conservation Chem. Co. of Ill.

Citation: 17 ELR 20970
No. No. H 86-9, 660 F. Supp. 1236/26 ERC 1423/(N.D. Ind., 04/23/1987)

The court holds, among other things, that a hazardous waste facility owner/operator's statements that the facility has voluntarily stopped its hazardous waste treatment operations are insufficient to render moot an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement action seeking injunctive relief under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Defendant, the owner/operator of a facility that had lost its interim status pursuant to RCRA § 3005(e)(2), did not adequately assure the court that future RCRA violations would not occur. Indeed, the facility continued to violate RCRA by storing hazardous wastes. The court next finds that there is no need to consider a stay in the proceedings, since the Indiana Attorney General informed defendants that Indiana was holding off on its administrative action pending the outcome of this suit. The court then holds that EPA has enforcement authority to bring this action concerning facility closure plans in Indiana, a state with an EPA-authorized RCRA program. Defendants' reliance on the Seventh Circuit's decision in Northside Sanitary Landfill, Inc. v. Thomas, 17 ELR 20215, is misplaced, since that case dealt with a party's standing and EPA's authority under § 7006(b), not with an enforcement action. Further, EPA satisfied § 3008(a) of RCRA by notifying Indiana prior to the commencement of the action. Finally, the court holds that EPA's complaint sufficiently alleges a cause of action against the president and principal stockholder of the defendant corporation. Such individual is a person within the purview of § 3008(a), and Congress intended for corporate officers to be held liable under RCRA.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Andrew B. Baker, Ass't U.S. Attorney
312 Fed'l Bldg., 507 State St., Hammond IN 46320
(219) 937-5500

Counsel for Defendants
Louis M. Rundio Jr.
McDermott, Will & Emery
1850 K St. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 887-8000