CSPA Settles Lawsuit Against Woodland Concrete Plant

On 9 June 2011, CSPA settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit against the Syar Concrete LLC regarding serious violations of the California General Industrial Stormwater Permit.  Syar Concrete operates a 6-acre ready-mix concrete facility in Woodland, California.  Stormwater runoff discharges to the Tule Canal that empties into the Sacramento River and thence the Delta.  

A 60-day notice letter of intent to sue was sent in May 2010 and a lawsuit was filed in federal court on 13 August 2010.  The actions alleged that the facility illegally discharged excessive concentrations of numerous pollutants in violation of their stormwater permit and the Clean Water Act, including pH, iron, copper, zinc, aluminum and total suspended solids. Syar Concrete 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 the Syar Concrete 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, Syar Concrete agreed to send $25,000 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.

Lozeau/Drury LLP represented CSPA in this matter.  Settlement

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