EPIC v. Pacific Lumber Company and U.S. EPA (Point Source Litigation)

EPIC v. Pacific Lumber Company and U.S. EPA (Point Source Litigation)

2001

This case involves the hundreds of pipes, ditches, culverts, and other sources that emit pollution into the Bear Creek watershed. Under the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA), it is illegal to discharge pollution into the waters of the United States from “discrete conveyance” unless it is covered by a permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). EPIC filed a complaint on July 24, 2001 to compel Pacific Lumber to obtain NPDES permits for discharges from such points. Judge Patel ruled that PL’s discharges were “point sources” subject to CWA/NPDES. Trial was put on hold by PL’s bankruptcy. Case dismissed without prejudice in settlement with bankruptcy trust. A similar case reached an opposite conclusion in Oregon. EPIC filed an amicus brief in the 9th Circuit appeal of that case. EPIC was represented in this case by Michael Lozeau and the Stanford University Law Clinic of Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund.