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United States v. Templeton

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20058
Nos. Nos. 02-1284 et al., (8th Cir., 07/28/2004)

The Eighth Circuit held that individuals could not be criminally prosecuted under the CWA for discharging raw sewage from a towbarge moored on the Mississippi River and used as a restaurant, bar, and gas station. Although sewage is considered a pollutant under the CWA, "sewage from vessels" is excluded from the definition of a pollutant. Here, the towbarge qualifies as a vessel under the Act because it was "capable of use" as a vessel, albeit under tow. Since the CWA does not provide criminal penalties for such discharges from "vessels," the district court’s denial of the individuals' motions for judgments of acquittal was reversed.