United States v. Bethlehem Steel Corp.

38 F.3d 862 (1994)

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United States v. Bethlehem Steel Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
38 F.3d 862 (1994)

Facts

Bethlehem Steel Corporation (Bethlehem) (defendant) generated electroplating wastewater as a byproduct of a tin- and chromium-electroplating operation. Sludge from cleaning this wastewater was disposed of, along with other waste, in a landfill and in lagoons on Bethlehem’s property. When the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was enacted, Congress recognized that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could not process all relevant permits before the RCRA took effect. The RCRA therefore allowed any facility that was already managing hazardous waste to gain an interim permit and continue handling hazardous waste until its final permit was approved, but any such facility was required to comply with specific interim standards. Bethlehem did not operate its facility in compliance with the interim standards while its application was pending. The United States (plaintiff) brought suit on the grounds that Bethlehem’s landfill and lagoons were hazardous-waste-management units subject to the RCRA and that Bethlehem had therefore violated the RCRA. The district court granted partial summary judgment in favor of the United States, and Bethlehem appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kanne, J.)

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