UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
December 4, 1959
WOOLRICH WOOLEN MILLS, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES of America, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: FOLLMER
This action was tried to the Court without a jury. The Court having considered the pleadings, stipulations, evidence adduced at the trial, the arguments and briefs of the parties, and being fully advised in the premises, now finds the facts herein and states its conclusions of law as follows:
Findings of Fact
1. Plaintiff is a corporation organized on January 6, 1830, and existing under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and having its principal place of business at Woolrich, Clinton County, Pennsylvania.
2. Plaintiff has been at its present location since its organization in 1830 and has been continuously therein engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods. The manufacturing process results in the discharge of a large quantity of water containing dyes and short woolen fibers in suspension which waste was piped directly into Chatham Run, a small public stream located in Pine Creek Township, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, which eventually empties about 2 miles down stream into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, and a point approximate 2 1/2 miles west of Avis, and then 70 miles more or less southward, where it flows into the main stream of the Susquehanna River at Northumberland, Pennsylvania. At all times prior to 1950 plaintiff's woolen mill was operated without a waste disposal plant.
3. By the Act of May 8, 1945, P.L. 435, 35 P.S. § 691.307 et seq., the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enlarged by amendment the scope and tightened the enforcement machinery of its antipollution laws. The title to this amending act provides in pertinent part as follows, to wit:
'* * * by changing and adding penalties for violations and requiring certain prosecutions to be instituted or approved by the Attorney General; by prohibiting the discharge of silt into any waters of the Commonwealth and regulating the discharge of acid mine drainage into waters thereof; authorizing the Sanitary Water Board to establish standards of purity and to determine the time for compliance with the provisions of the act in certain cases; and requiring the board's approval of plans of drainage and disposal of industrial waste and acid mine drainage before opening, reopening, or continuing the operation of coal mines and the changing of approved plans by authorizing the acquisition, by purchase or condemnation, or otherwise, by the Sanitary Water Board of easements or right of ways, and the acquisition or construction of pipes, conduits, drains, or tunnels and pumps, and pumping equipment; and providing for the payment of the costs thereof by the Commonwealth.'
4. On September 28, 1945, the Sanitary Water Board of the Department of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by letter bearing that date, directed the plaintiff to discontinue all discharge of water from its mill into public streams on or before June 1, 1946, or by that date to submit satisfactory plans for treatment of the water so as to eliminate the pollution elements therefrom. Thereupon plaintiff began consultation with various state officials and with engineers of the Sanitary Water Board for the purpose of complying with the Board's directions and plaintiff started to make plans to install the waste disposal plant.
5. On November 26, 1948, plaintiff entered into a written contract with Warren H. Ohl, a registered engineer and contractor, to build a waste disposal plant. Under this contract, plaintiff was to advance money to Ohl 'for the purchase of labor, services, supplies, and equipment for the fulfillment of the contract.' Ohl was to receive one per cent of the total cost of the plant for his services.
6. Pursuant to the contract between Warren Ohl and plaintiff deposits were made by plaintiff to the account of Warren Ohl, contractor, in the following amounts and on the dates indicated,
November 16, 1950 $50,000.00
April 7, 1951 50,000.00
December 27, 1951 8,670.64
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.