• When are Pollutant Discharges to Groundwater Subject to the Clean Water Act?
  • October 6, 2016 | Author: Richard E. Stultz
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • In a November 6, 2015, opinion, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that plaintiff had adequately pleaded a cause of action plausible on its face that pollutant discharges to groundwater which was “hydrologically-connected” to surface water bodies were subject to the Clean Water Act. See Sierra Club v Virginia Electric and Power Company (E.D. Va. 2015) 145 F.Supp.3d 601. The Sierra Club alleged that Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPC) had disposed of combustion waste which had contaminated, and was continuing to contaminate, groundwater beneath VEPC’s power plant in Chesapeake, Virginia. Plaintiff sought an order requiring VEPC to stop the alleged pollution from the waste disposal facilities, to remove the waste and to remediate the groundwater. VEPC brought a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that discharges to groundwater were not regulated under the Clean Water Act and thus the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. After a review of the law, however, the court denied VEPC’s motion.