United States v. Republic Steel Corp.
362 U.S. 482 (1960)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Republic Steel Corp., 362 U.S. 482 (1960)

United States v. Republic Steel Corp.

No. 56

Argued January 12-13, 1960

Decided May 16, 1960

362 U.S. 482

Syllabus

In a suit by the United States, the District Court found that respondents, who operate mills for the production of iron and related products, had, without first obtaining permits from the Chief of Engineers of the Army providing conditions for their removal, discharged through sewers into a navigable river of the United States industrial waste solids which, on settling out, had substantially reduced the depth of the channel; and it enjoined them from continuing to do so and ordered them to restore the depth of the channel by removing the deposits.

Held: on the findings of the District Court, the deposit of industrial solids in the river by respondents created an "obstruction" to the "navigable capacity" of the river forbidden by § 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899; they were discharges forbidden by, and not exempt under, § 13 ; and the District Court was authorized to grant injunctive relief. Pp. 362 U. S. 483-493.

(a) The discharge into a navigable river of industrial solids which reduce the depth of the channel creates an "obstruction" to the "navigable capacity" of the river within the meaning of § 10 of the Act. Pp. 362 U. S. 486-489.

(b) The discharge of such industrial solids suspended in water flowing into a river through sewers is a discharge forbidden by § 13, and is not exempted as "refuse matter . . . flowing from . . . sewers and passing therefrom in a liquid state." Pp. 362 U. S. 489-491.

(c) The District Court was authorized to grant injunctive relief in a suit by the United States. Pp. 362 U. S. 491-492.

264 F.2d 289, reversed.

Page 362 U. S. 483

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