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Environmental Protection Info. Ctr. v. Pacific Lumber Co.

ELR Citation: 36 ELR 20084
(N.D. Cal., 04/28/2006)

A court holds that a timber company's procurement of a general permit for stormwater discharges stemming from its logging activities in Bear Creek, California, does not render an environmental group's Clean Water Act action against the company moot. The timber company failed to meet its burden to prove that the alleged violations underlying the group's lawsuit are unlikely to recur. Moreover, the court will be able to grant the group relief. At the very least, the group's claim for civil penalties would remain viable if it were to prevail on the merits of its claims. The court also dismissed the group's motion for summary judgment as to the timber company's liability. Just because the company applied for a stormwater permit does not mean that it has conceded that it has made unpermitted discharges, and the group failed to produce evidence that the company has discharged stormwater or pollutants from a point source into Bear Creek.