CSPA settles lawsuit against Butte County Landfill

On 10 August 2011, CSPA settled a lawsuit against Butte County’s Neal Road Landfill and Recycling Facility for violations of the federal Clean Water Act.  The 187-acre landfill in Chico is used to dispose of municipal solid and industrial waste and discharges pollutants to Butte Creek, which drains to the Sacramento River and ultimately to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  

A 60-day notice letter of intent to sue was sent on 29 September 2010 and a lawsuit was filed in federal court on 11 November 2010.  The lawsuit alleged that wastes discharged from the facility egregiously exceed allowable standards and benchmarks for numerous pollutants.  It further alleges the facility has failed to: 1) develop and implement standard Best Available and Best Conventional Treatment Technologies, 2) develop and implement an adequate Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, and 3) develop and implement an adequate Monitoring and Reporting Program.

The Settlement Agreement has been submitted to the court as an enforceable Consent Decree and to the U.S. Department of Justice for review.  It obligates Butte County to: 1) comply fully with the applicable requirements of the General Permit and Clean Water Act; 2) implement a suite of Best Management and Housekeeping Practices; 3) develop and implement a number of structural improvements; 4) conduct more frequent, comprehensive monitoring during rain events, and 5) prepare an adequate SWPPP.  The agreement incorporates  “Meet & Confer” provisions that allow CSPA to return to court for enforcement if pollutant benchmarks continue to be exceeded and the parties cannot agree on additional measures to be implemented.

As mitigation for past violations, Butte County agreed to send $40,000 to the Rose Foundation for a Better Environment to fund environmental projects that will improve water quality.  They also agreed to reimburse CSPA’s costs of bringing suit plus funds to oversee implementation of the agreement.

Jackson & Tuerck and the Law Offices of Andrew Packard represented CSPA in this matter.

Settlement Agreement

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