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

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20012
Nos. No. C 01-2821 MHP, (N.D. Cal., 01/08/2007) summary judgment

A district court denied an environmental group's motion for summary judgment on claims that a logging company violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) with respect to logging activities near a brook situated several miles upstream of Scotia, California. Contrary to assertions of the lumber company, the group has standing to sue. Nevertheless, the group failed to establish the company's liability. To meet its burden under CWA §301(a), the group must show that the logging company "discharged" a "pollutant" from a "point source" to "navigable waters" "without a national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit," yet there are genuine issues of material fact with regard to each of these elements. And in order to establish a violation of §402, the group would first need to establish that the company had failed to comply with the terms of an NPDES permit.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 36 ELR 20084.]