What is a plaintiff entitled to in a citizen suit?

The citizen suit provisions allow the violator to be fined a maximum penalty for each day it is in violation. The amounts have increased several times over the years. For instance, the CWA originally provided a maximum penalty of $25,000, which has now increased to $37,500 per day.

The monetary exposure for a defendant can quickly add up if the lawsuit involves violations over several years.  All fines awarded by the court are payable to the federal treasury rather than the citizen group. 

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