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United States v. Reaves

ELR Citation: 26 ELR 21394
Nos. 94-925-Civ-J-20, 923 F. Supp. 1530/42 ERC 1283/(M.D. Fla., 02/22/1996)

The court holds that 28 U.S.C. §2462's five-year statute of limitations does not bar the government's civil penalty and injunctive relief claims against a landowner 13 years after the landowner's unpermitted discharge of dredged or fill materials into wetlands in alleged violation of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) and the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA). The court rejects the landowner's argument that the government's claims accrued on the date of the underlying violation. Instead, the court holds that the landowner's unpermitted discharge is a continuing violation for as long as the fill remains, and thus, the statute of limitations has not yet begun to run. The court notes that such a finding is consistent with the remedial purposes of the FWPCA and RHA.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Ralph Lee, Ass't U.S. Attorney
U.S. Attorney's Office
330 E. Bay St., Jacksonville FL 32202
(904) 630-2400

Counsel for Defendant
Adam G. Adams III
Marks, Gray, Conroy & Gibbs
1200 Riverplace Blvd., Ste. 800, Jacksonville FL 32207
(904) 398-0900