Ann M. Babigian


This Case Note examines United States v. Plaza Health, a Court of Appeals decision from the Second Circuit, in which the court held that, in the criminal context, a person is not a point source under the Clean Water Act by virtue of the rule of lenity. The author asserts that the court should have found a person to be a point source and elevated the individual’s punishment to a criminal violation under the Clean Water Act's knowing endangerment provision. In holding that a person is not a point source, the court did not follow precedents by failing to extend the definition of a point source under the Clean Water Act. This Case Note concludes that it is necessary to categorize a person as a point source to effectuate the goals of the Clean Water Act.