The Blackstone Headwaters Coalition, Inc. v. Gallo Builders, Inc. et al
District Judge Timothy S. Hillman: ORDER entered granting 80 Motion for Clarification. The Memorandum of Decision and Order (Docket No. 79) is hereby amended to provide that Count II is dismissed and Count I remains with regard to the CGP only. (Castles, Martin)
Case 4:16-cv-40053-TSH Document 82 Filed 10/31/18 Page 1 of 2
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
THE BLACKSTONE HEADWATERS
GALLO BUILDERS, INC.,
ARBORETUM VILLAGE, LLC,
STEVEN A. GALLO,
and ROBERT H. GALLO
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION (Docket No. 80)
October 31, 2018
Plaintiff, The Blackstone Headwaters Coalition (“Blackstone”), brings this action under
the citizen suit provision of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.
(“Clean Water Act,” or “CWA”), alleging that Gallo Builders, Inc, and owners Steven Gallo
and Robert Gallo (“Defendants”) were violating the CWA at the residential construction
development site, Arboretum Village Estates (“Site”) in Worcester, Massachusetts. Count I of
the Complaint alleges liability by reason of a failure by Gallo Builders, Inc., as an operator, to
obtain a permit titled Construction General Permit (“CGP”). Count II alleges liability by reason
of violations of the CGP obtained by or on behalf of Arboretum Village, LLC and violations of
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Following a
hearing on the matter, I issued an Order denying the motion and instructed the parties to
proceed with discovery limited to the issue of diligent prosecution by the Massachusetts
Case 4:16-cv-40053-TSH Document 82 Filed 10/31/18 Page 2 of 2
Department of Environmental Protection. (Docket Nos. 41 (Order on the Motion to Dismiss) &
47 (Order on Plaintiff’s Motion for Clairfication). Following discovery, the parties both filed
motions for summary judgment. I denied Plaintiff’s motion and granted Defendants’ motion on
the issue of diligent prosecution.
Plaintiff followed with a Motion for Clarification (Docket No. 80), and requested that
the Court clarify the Order by specifying whether the DEP is diligently prosecuting under a
state law comparable to the CWA or if it is subsumed within the broader issue of diligent
prosecution. In pertinent part, the CWA instructs that “any violation … with respect to which
a State has commenced and is diligently prosecuting an action under a State law comparable
to this subsection … shall not be the subject of a civil penalty action under subsection (d) of
this section or section 1321(b) of this title or section 1365 of this title.” 33 U.S.C.
1319(g)(6)(ii). Further, that the CWA has a comparable state law in the Massachusetts Clean
Waters Act is well established in this District. See M.G.L. c. 21, § 44. Accord, North and
South Rivers Watershed Ass’n, Inc. v. Town of Scituate, 949 F.2d 552, 555-556 (1st Cir. 1991)
(affirming that order issued by Mass DEP to town with regard to discharge of overflow
sewage pursuant to Massachusetts Clean Waters Act constituted “comparable action,” in
determining whether citizen suit under federal Clean Water Act was barred).
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s Motion for Clarification is granted, and my
Memorandum of Decision and Order (Docket No. 79) is hereby amended to provide that
Count II is dismissed and Count I remains with regard to the CGP only.
/s/ Timothy S. Hillman
TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?