CSPA settles lawsuit against Solano Garbage Company for illegal pollution of McCoy Creek, Suisun Slough and Grizzly and Suisun Bays
by Bill Jennings, CSPA Executive Director
August 29, 2009 -- CSPA has settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit against Solano Garbage, Inc. Solano Garbage operates a waste collection and recycling facility in Fairfield California. Stormwater from the ten acre facility is discharged through seven outfalls to the City of Fairfield storm drains system and/or McCoy Creek with empties into Suisun Slough, a tributary to Grizzly Bay and Suisun Bay.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in January 2009 alleging that Solano Garbage illegally discharged excessive concentrations of total suspended solids, total organic carbon, oil & grease, aluminum, iron, zinc, electrical conductance and other pollutants. 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 was signed on 27 August 2009 and has been submitted to the court as an enforceable Consent Decree and to the U.S. Department of Justice for review. It obligates Solano Garbage 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 to prevent pollutants from being discharged; 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, Solano Garbage agreed to send $40,000 to the Rose Foundation for a Better Environment to fund environmental projects that will improve water quality in Solano County and the downstream watershed. They also agreed to pay CSPA's costs of bringing the lawsuit plus funds to oversee implementation of the agreement.
Lozeau/Drury LLP and the Law Offices of Andrew Packard represented CSPA in this matter.