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Piney Run Preservation Ass'n v. County Comm'rs of Carroll County, Md.

ELR Citation: 29 ELR 21424
Nos. No. Civ. A. Y-98-3124, 50 F. Supp. 2d 443/49 ERC 1146/(D. Md., 05/20/1999) partial summary judgment

The court holds that a county's sewage treatment plant violated Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) §301(a) by discharging heat into a stream located near environmental group members' homes. The court first holds that according to the plant's monitoring reports, the plant's effluent exceeded the upstream temperature on 371 of 397 days. The court next holds that it has jurisdiction over the group's citizen suit even though heat is not listed as a pollutant on the plant's national pollutant discharge elimination system permit. The FWPCA allows a citizen suit to enforce water quality standards that have not been translated into numerical effluent limitations on a permit. "Effluent standard" means an unlawful act under FWPCA §301(a). FWPCA §301(a) prohibits the discharge of any pollutant, and FWPCA §502(12)(A) defines "pollutant" to include heat. The court then holds that the discovery sought by the plant is irrelevant to the pending summary judgment motions before the court.

Counsel for Plaintiff
G. Macy Nelson
Law Offices of G. Macy Nelson
401 Washington Ave., Ste. 803, Towson MD 21204
(410) 296-8166

Counsel for Defendant
James R. Chason
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston
7 St. Paul St., Baltimore MD 21202
(410) 347-8700