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International Transportation Company: Stormwater Citizen Suit Defense

Marten Law represented an international transportation corporation in five inter-related federal citizen suits under the Clean Water Act (CWA). We were engaged after the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance filed suits in the United States District Court alleging the company’s stormwater discharges were violating its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits at package transit facilities located throughout Puget Sound. The alleged violations involved stormwater discharges to rivers and streams listed as “impaired” by the Washington Department of Ecology and regulatory compliance with industrial stormwater permits.

Following initial discovery we successfully negotiated an agreement to consolidate and settle all of the cases as a single action. The parties then settled all of the alleged violations via a consent decree approved by Department of Justice and U.S. District Court. The settlement resulted in funding for five salmon habitat restoration and enhancement projects along multiple tributaries to Puget Sound. We then advised the company on modifying its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans, industrial processes, and permit coverage to reduce exposure to future citizen suits or regulatory enforcement and ensure compliance with the permits and the Consent Decree.