On 1 February 2014, CSPA sent a Notice of Intent to Sue to the City of Watsonville’s Municipal Service Center. The notice letter alleges that the recycling and solid waste processing facility illegally discharges pollutants into the City’s storm sewer system, which flows into Watsonville Slough and the Pacific Ocean, in violation of the substantive and procedural requirements of the federal Clean Water Act and California’s General Industrial Stormwater Permit. Pollutants discharged above applicable limits include: iron, zinc, aluminum, copper, specific conductivity and total suspended solids.
In addition to the facility’s discharge of pollutants that exceed standards, the City failed to: 1) prepare an adequate Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, 2) implement an adequate monitoring and reporting program; 3) sample required parameters; 4) install management measures to reduce or prevent pollutants from entering waterways and 5) file true and correct annual reports.
Pursuant to the citizen-suit provisions of the federal Clean Water Act, CSPA is required to send a potential defendant a notice letter informing them of the specific violations that have been identified. The U.S. EPA, U.S. Department of Justice, state Attorney General and the Regional Water Quality Board are copied and, if the agencies fail to initiate enforcement actions within 60 days, CSPA is free to file a lawsuit against the discharger. CSPA has offered to meet with the City to see if the matter can be resolved prior to litigation. The Law Offices of Andrew Packard are representing CSPA in this matter.