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CSPA SealCSPA settles suit vs. Waste Management, Alameda County, requires compliance, monitoring, and mitigation

February 14, 2009 -- CSPA has settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit against Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc., regarding serious violations of the California General Industrial Stormwater Permit at the Davis Street Transfer Station, a transfer station for municipal and solid waste in San Leandro, California. 

The lawsuit was filed in federal court on 21 July 2008 alleging that the Davis Street Transfer Station illegally discharged excessive concentrations of total suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand, oil & grease, aluminum, copper, iron, zinc, lead and electrical conductance to San Francisco Bay in violation of their stormwater permit and the Clean Water Act.  The facility 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 Waste Management 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, including treatment facilities designed to treat a 15 year, 24-hour storm event; 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, Waste Management agreed to send $50,000 to the Rose Foundation for a Better Environment to fund environmental projects that will improve water quality.  They also agreed to pay CSPA’s costs of bringing the lawsuit plus funds to oversee implementation of the agreement.

CSPA vs. Waste Management settlement