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The Refuse Act of 1899: Its Scope and Role in Control of Water Pollution

Diane D. Eames
California Law Review
Vol. 58, No. 6 (Nov., 1970), pp. 1444-1473
DOI: 10.2307/3479704
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3479704
Page Count: 30
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The Refuse Act of 1899: Its Scope and Role in Control of Water Pollution
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Abstract

Recently, the Department of the Interior filed civil complaints against mercury polluters under an obscure section of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. Little is known of the history of "the Refuse Act" or of its applicability to the modern problem of water pollution. This Comment attempts to define the scope of the Act through examination of its legislative, judicial and administrative history and furthermore, explores possible modes of action and remedies available under it. The author feels that use of the Refuse Act as a complement to existing federal water quality legislation, essentially embodied in the Water Quality Act of 1965, will contribute to attainment of the goal of comprehensive and effective control of water pollution.

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