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United States v. Humphries

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20210
Nos. 11-50383, (9th Cir., 08/29/2013)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court's conviction of a chemical company owner for illegally storing hazardous wastes without a permit in violation of RCRA. On appeal, the owner argued that the lower court improperly instructed the jury about the distinction between "storage" and "disposal" of hazardous waste in response to a jury inquiry. But the lower court properly instructed the jury that, for purposes of RCRA, "disposal" of hazardous waste begins not with an individual's subjective decision to dispose but with an act of disposal. The term "disposal," as used in the statute, plainly and unambiguously refers to the acts of discharging, depositing, injecting, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing, not the decision to take those actions at a future time.