COMMENT: GWALTNEY OF SMITHFIELD V. CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION -- THE END OF INQUIRY OR THE BEGINNING OF CONFUSION? Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1989 The University of Pittsburgh Law Review
University of Pittsburgh Law Review

COMMENT: GWALTNEY OF SMITHFIELD V. CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION -- THE END OF INQUIRY OR THE BEGINNING OF CONFUSION?

SUMMER, 1989

50 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 1209

Author

Emily O'Connor

Excerpt

In 1972, the Clean Water Act 1 (CWA) emerged as Congress's latest attempt to restore and maintain the nation's environment. Included within the CWA is a citizen suit provision modelled after the first citizen suit provision in the Clean Air Act (Air Act). 2 The CWA's provision, however, differs from that of the Air Act in one significant respect: The CWA allows a citizen to sue for civil penalties. 3 One of the most heavily litigated issues under the citizen suit provision is whether a citizen may sue for civil penalties for a violation that occurred solely in the past, or must the violation be ongoing when the suit is filed.

The CWA permits "any citizen [to] commence a civil action . . . (1) against any person . . . who is alleged to be in violation of (A) an effluent standard . . . or (B) an order issued by the Administrator or State. . . ." 4 The district court may enforce an effluent standard or an administrative order with an injunction and may also "apply any appropriate civil penalties. . . ." 5 The statute defines a "citizen" as "a person or persons having an interest which is or may be affected." 6 The "person" whom the citizen may sue can be "an individual, corporation, partnership, association, State, municipality, commission, or political subdivision or a State, or any interstate body," 7 or "the United States, and . . . any other governmental ...
 
 
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