Sierra Club versus Cedar Point Oil Company--how bad can it get?
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Cedar Point Oil Company, a small operator of one oil well in Galveston Bay, has discharged its produced saltwater back into the Bay--like every other Bay operator--pursuant to a state permit. The Sierra Club sued Cedar Point for discharging without a federal EPA permit. Cedar Point applied for one, but EPA refused to consider the application, advising that it would neither grant nor deny such a permit. Caught in this catch-22, Cedar Point applied to the judiciary for help, to no avail. The United States District Court in Houston Fined Cedar Point $186,000, awarded attorneys fees of $83,000, and shut the well down