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Mancuso v. Consolidated Edison Co. of N.Y.

ELR Citation: 31 ELR 20435
Nos. No. 93 Civ. 0001 (WCC), 130 F. Supp. 2d 584/(S.D.N.Y., 02/16/2001) dismissed for lack of standing

The court dismisses an individual's Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suit against an electricity company for lack of standing. The individual claimed that a company violated the CWA by discharging pollutants into Echo Bay, New York. The court first holds that although the individual's amended interrogatory answers and affidavit contradict previous testimony, the individual demonstrated injury-in-fact. The individual created an issue of fact as to whether he was mistaken when he initially answered the interrogatories, and there is no evidence that contradicts his statements in the affidavit. The court also holds that there is an issue of fact as to whether at some time the individual saw dead or maimed animals at the bay in question whose death or maiming was caused by pollution from the company, thereby satisfying the causal connection requirement of standing. However, the court next holds that at the present time, there is no remedy the court could grant that would significantly improve the conditions in the bay. There is no reasonable likelihood of significant future pollution of the bay by the company. Moreover, there is no evidence to support the claim that the bay is presently contaminated. Evidence relied on by the individual to show present contamination of the bay is outdated, based on water near the bay as opposed to the bay itself, and directly contradicted by other sources. Therefore, the court dismissed the individual's CWA citizen suit as moot.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (13 pp., ELR Order No. L-332).

[A prior decision in this litigation is published at 30 ELR 20035.]

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Paul Greenfield
Crupain & Greenfield
225 Broadway, Ste. 2700, New York NY 10007
(212) 619-4100

Counsel for Defendant
Charles E. McTiernan Jr., Associate General Counsel
Consolidated Edison Company of New York
Law Department
Four Irving Pl., Rm. 1810-S, New York NY 10003
(212) 460-4600