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Okanogan Highlands Alliance v. Crown Resources Corp.

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20229
Nos. 2:20-CV-147-RMP, (E.D. Wash., 10/05/2020) (Peterson, J.)

A district court denied mine owners' motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging they were in violation of their NPDES permit. A conservation group and the state of Washington argued that the owners had violated the terms of their permit by discharging pollutants in excess of average monthly effluent limitations, failing to maintain capture zones for mine-impacted water, failing to follow permit requirements after exceeding discharge limits, failing to abide by reporting requirements, failing to notify the state Department of Ecology of its intent to dismantle the prior mine water treatment plant, and failing to submit and implement a plan before dismantling the plant. The owners moved to dismiss, arguing that plaintiffs only alleged past violations of the CWA rather than ongoing violations. The court found that plaintiffs had sufficiently pled continuous or intermittent violations of effluent standards or limitations committed by the owners to state a claim under the CWA. It therefore denied the mine owner's motion to dismiss.