The Refuse Act has not been repealed by Congress. In fact, the Justice Department specifically instructed U.S. Attorneys to use the Refuse Act as a supplemental authority along with the Clean Air Act instead of viewing it as competing legislation.
That being said, people can not just going about making random accusations. Yes, people can still provide information of a violation, but to collect their portion of the penalty, the charge needs to be proven valid through a lawsuit. If the citizen loses the accusation suit, he or she would not only not receive half of the fines but would also have to bear the cost of suing.
The Refuse Act allows citizens to receive half the sum of the fines collected if they show proof of a violation. The Clean Water Act, which was enacted nearly a century later, did not change any of the conditions in the Refuse Act. The two acts remain independent of each other. In the case of the BP Oil Spill, for example, the company was fined for violations to both of the Acts.
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