Dolgetta Law

Friends of the Earth v. Crown Central Petroleum: The Surrogate Enforcer Must Be Allowed to “Stand Up” for the Clean Water Act

This Case Note examines the doctrine of standing in light of the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Crown Central Petroleum Corp. The decision in Crown Central deals with the doctrine of standing and whether the environmental organization, Friends of the Earth (FOE), met the requirements of standing necessary to bring a lawsuit under the Clean Water Act (CWA or Act). Here, FOE brought suit against Crown Central Petroleum alleging discharge and reporting violations under the CWA. The Fifth Circuit held that plaintiffs, who use a waterway (a lake) approximately eighteen miles downstream from the defendant’s point of discharge, did not adduce sufficient evidence to survive a motion for summary judgment because they did not meet the “fairly traceable” requirement of standing established by the Supreme Court.

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