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Mancuso v. New York State Thruway Auth.

ELR Citation: 26 ELR 20787
Nos. No. 93 Civ. 1145 (CLB), 909 F. Supp. 133/(S.D.N.Y., 03/31/1995)

The court holds that the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not bar marina owners' Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) citizen suit for damages and an injunction against a thruway authority and a municipality for alleged discharges of pollutants into a bay. The court first holds that the state thruway authority was not entitled to the Eleventh Amendment's immunity from suit in federal court, because the marina owners sought prospective injunctive relief. Moreover, the thruway authority is not the state, but merely a statutorily created public authority. Should the owners prevail, they will be paid out of the monies of the authority, not the state treasury. The court next holds that the owners satisfied the FWPCA's notice requirements. The municipality, the authority, and the necessary government agencies received from the owners actual notice of the specific violations alleged, the persons responsible, the location of the alleged violation, and that the discharge was continuous. The court also holds that it is unable to determine whether the FWPCA's exemption for stormwater discharges is applicable. There are substantial questions of fact as to whether the municipality had illegal sewer connections to the point of discharge, whether the discharges were entirely composed of stormwater, or entirely or substantially from the authority.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
John Tartaglia, Ira Levy
535 N. Broadway, White Plains NY 10603
(914) 289-0800

Counsel for Defendants
Leslie Allan, Ass't Attorney General
Attorney General's Office
New York State Department of Law
The Capitol, Albany NY 12224
(518) 474-7124