CSPA settles lawsuit against Redding Auto Dismantler for illegal pollution

CSPA has settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit against Viking Truck and Auto, Inc. regarding serious violations of the California General Industrial Stormwater Permit and California’s Health and Safety Code (Prop. 65). Viking Truck and Auto operates a 19-acre vehicle dismantling and automotive parts recycling facility in Redding California that discharges polluted stormwater to Churn Creek, which drains to the Sacramento River and Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.  

A 60-day notice letter of intent to sue under the Clean Water Act was sent on 3 September 2010 and a Prop. 65 notice letter was issued on 20 September.  A lawsuit was filed in federal court on 29 November 2010.  The lawsuit alleged that the facility illegally discharged excessive concentrations of zinc, iron, aluminum, lead, copper, total suspended solids and other pollutants in violation of the respective statutes. Viking Truck and Auto also failed to develop, implement and update: 1) Best Available and Best Conventional Treatment Technologies; 2) an adequate Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP); and 3) an adequate monitoring and reporting plan.  It also accused the operators of falsely certifying compliance in their annual reports.

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 Viking Truck and Auto to cease operations at the facility no later than 1 August 2011 and file a notice of termination with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

In the event Viking Truck and Auto fails to close the facility or the Regional Board declines or fails to approve the termination, the agreement requires Viking Truck and Auto 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, Viking Truck and Auto agreed to send $13,500 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.

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

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