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Piney Run: The Permits are Not What They Seem

Jessica Owley

SUNY Buffalo Law School


Ecology Law Quarterly, Vol. 30, p. 429, 2003

In 2001, the Fourth Circuit addressed the permit shield provision of the Clean Water Act and found it to provide broad-scale protection for polluters. In Piney Run Preservation Association v. County Commissioners of Carroll County, the Fourth Circuit held that facilities with discharge permits are protected from lawsuits even when discharging pollutants not contained within their permits. Under this ruling, permit holders may discharge, without fear of penalty, any disclosed pollutant within the reasonable expectation of the permitting authority. This decision is worrisome because it does not protect the goals of the Clean Water Act and deprives the public of information about pollutants in the environment.

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Date posted: March 2, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Owley, Jessica, Piney Run: The Permits are Not What They Seem (2003). Ecology Law Quarterly, Vol. 30, p. 429, 2003. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1548026

Contact Information

Jessica Owley (Contact Author)
SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )
School of Law
528 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716-645-8182 (Phone)
716-645-2064 (Fax)

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