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United States v. Weitzenhoff

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
35 F.3d 1275 (1994)


Facts

Michael Weitzenhoff and Thomas Mariana (defendants) managed the East Honolulu Community Services Sewage Treatment Plant (the Plant) located near a popular Oahu swimming and surfing beach. The Plant operated under a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit which placed limits on the total amount of purified solids and chemicals that could be discharged on an average day over a 30-day period. The permit also imposed monitoring and sampling requirements. One of the solid substances generating during the treatment process, waste activated sludge (WAS), was generally pumped into separate holding tanks located at the facility and hauled away. Instead of continuing the practice of hauling away WAS, defendants instead instructed two Plant employees to dispose of 436,000 pounds of WAS directly into the ocean on 40 separate occasions. The discharges were not recorded or subject to monitoring or sampling requirements and violated the Plant’s daily effluent limits mandated by the NPDES permit. Thereafter, defendants conspired to cover up the events and failed to report the discharges to any state or federal agency. Defendants were charged in a 31-count indictment with violating the Clean Water Act (CWA). A jury found defendants guilty on six of the 31 counts. Defendants appealed. 

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fletcher, J.)

Dissent (Kleinfeld, J.)

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