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Quaker State Corp. v. U.S. Coast Guard

United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
681 F. Supp. 280 (W.D. Pa. 1988)


Facts

Quaker State Corp. (Quaker) (plaintiff) leased a parcel of land for drilling operations until 1975. Quaker abandoned all operations on the site in 1978. In 1985, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) (defendant) discovered an abandoned wastewater containment pit on the land. At that time, there was no operator of the site, but the U.S. Forest Service owned the land. The USCG immediately underwent cleanup operations on the site, and demanded that Quaker reimburse the U.S. government, plus interest and penalties. Quaker filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, seeking a declaratory judgment that it was not an “owner or operator” of the site under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1321(f) (Act). Quaker filed a motion for summary judgment on this issue. The USCG contended that “owner or operator” should be defined as of the date of the initial discharge of the contamination.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Weber, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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