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Federal-Hoffman, Inc. v. EPA

ELR Citation: 21 ELR 20661
Nos. No. 3-90 CIV 25, 753 F. Supp. 273/32 ERC 1633/(D. Minn., 11/21/1990)

The court upholds an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrative decision assessing a $77,000 civil penalty under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act against plaintiff for placing liquid waste into a landfill without an impermeable liner. Plaintiff operates a landfill used to store hazardous waste sludges generated by its small arms manufacturing plant. The court holds that a provision in the regulations excluding existing portions of landfills from the impermeable liner requirement does not apply. The court holds that EPA's administrative decision finding that plaintiff's clay liner was not impermeable was supported by the administrative record. The court refuses to reduce the penalty on the grounds that the regulation is vague or that plaintiff made a good-faith attempt to comply. The regulations are not vague and EPA already took into account plaintiff's alleged good-faith efforts to comply in calculating the penalty.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Mark E. Mulhollam
Harstad & Rainbow
1036 Norwest Midland Bldg., Minneapolis MN 55401
(612) 338-7811

Counsel for Defendant
Brian J. Plant
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000