CSPA Settles Lawsuit Against Chico Waste Facility for Illegal Pollution

On 7 November 2010, CSPA settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit against USA Waste of California, Inc. regarding serious violations of the California General Industrial Stormwater Permit.  USA Waste operates a recycling, waste transfer and trucking facility in Chico, California.  The facility has discharged excessive concentrations of numerous pollutants to Comanche Creek, which ultimately flows into the Sacramento River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

A 60-day notice letter of intent to sue, pursuant to the Clean Water Act was sent in March 2010.  A notice letter of intent to sue for violations of California Health & Safety Code Section 25249 (Prop. 65) was sent in September.  A lawsuit was filed in federal court in May and amended in November.

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 USA Waste 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 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan.  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, USA Waste agreed to send $40,000 to the Rose Foundation for Communities and the 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.

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

Settlement Agreement

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