11th Circuit Won’t Review New Trial For Polluters

     ATLANTA (CN) – The 11th Circuit declined to review its decision to allow a new trial for McWane Inc. and three executives convicted of environmental violations for dumping pollutants into a creek that flows into Alabama’s Black Warrior River.

     The full circuit refused to reconsider an October 2007 panel ruling that vacated the 2005 convictions of the company and Charles Robison, vice president of environmental affairs, who were found guilty of filing a false report with the Environmental Protection Agency.
     Judge Charles Wilson, dissenting from the court’s refusal to rehear the case, said reconsideration was necessary because the panel had misinterpreted the Supreme Court’s definition of “navigable waters” under the Act.
     “The large number of water bodies and wetlands in the region, coupled with the significant pace of development, suggests that later disputes over the scope of federal authority under the Act may occur with some regularity,” Wilson wrote.

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