Friends of the Earth v. Laidlaw Environmental Services (TOC), Inc.
- Case Date: 7/19/1999
- Project Name: Environmental Law Project
On July 19, 1999, WLF filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to dismiss an appeal by several environmental activist groups which had filed a citizen suit against a company for technical violations of its discharge permit under the Clean Water Act. WLF argued that the environmental groups lacked legal standing to bring the case because the district court found that the company's minor violations caused no environmental harm to the river or aquatic life. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the case was moot inasmuch as the imposition of fines payable to the U.S. Treasury would not remedy any alleged injury to the plaintiffs. In so ruling, the court relied on a recent Supreme Court ruling, Steel Co. v. Citizens for Better Environment, a case in which WLF also participated on behalf of the company.