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Document Type

Comments

Abstract

In Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. County of Los Angeles, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit addressed the issue of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit violations under the Clean Water Act. Environmental organizations brought suit against the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Flood Control District after the District published monitoring station reports identifying 140 separate exceedances of permit limitations. Even though the defendants’ monitoring station was located downstream from other permittees, the defendants were held liable as a matter of law for the violations because the permit clearly stated that the monitoring station data would be used to determine permittee compliance. This Comment argues that the Ninth Circuit’s analysis was correct, and further that preliminary testing for the monitoring station as well as more frequent monitoring and reporting will clarify liability.

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