CSPA Settles Lawsuit Against Oroville Waste Facility for Illegal Pollution

On 23 December 2010, CSPA settled a Clean Water Act and Prop. 65 lawsuit against Recology of Butte County (fka Norcal Waste Systems) regarding serious violations of the California General Industrial Stormwater Permit and California’s Health and Safety Code.  Recology operates a waste transfer and recycling facility in Oroville, California.  The facility collects and discharges excessive concentrations of numerous pollutants to the Dry Creek Drainage Canal, which discharges to the Feather River and 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 June.  A lawsuit was filed in federal court on 19 May 2010 and amended on 28 May.

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 Recology 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, Recology agreed to send $95,000 to the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment to fund environmental projects that will improve water quality (75K for CWA & 20K for Prop 65).  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

This entry was posted in Bill Jennings, Enforcement, Water Quality. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.