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Quote of the Day - Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed. - Buddha
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Take It With A Grain Of .... It's Not A Pollutant Anymore

You put it on your food, it's likely on your kitchen table, you sweat it out of your body and if someone associates it with you, you've received a compliment.  Crystals of it form when ocean water evaporates, and it's spread on some roads and sidewalks in the winter to melt snow and ice.  It helps make great homemade ice cream, and at least one company refers to one of its qualities in its motto:  "When it rains, it pours." 

The last thing you'd think of "it" - salt - would be to classify it as a pollutant. 

But many POTWs do through their city and county permits.  The USEPA limits the discharge of salt (link is a PowerPoint presentation).

That regulation, however, suffered a little-known setback in a recent federal district court ruling in New York.  The ruling holding that salt was not a pollutant under the Clean Water Act was overruled on other grounds, but nonetheless, the ruling, issued in late January, appears to be intact given the decision (subscription required) of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  You can also read the decision here, posted on the Second Circuit's webpage.

The case, Alliance for Environmental Renewal, Inc. v. Pyramid Crossgates Co., stands for the proposition that salt is not a pollutant, but the Court of Appeals overruled the District Court's opinion on the basis of standing, a procedural technicality.  Nonetheless, the Second Circuit did not overrule the District Court's ruling that salt fell outside the category of pollutants regulated by the CWA. 

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, February 17, 2006 at 15:16 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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