CSPA settles lawsuit against Tri City Rock Inc., for illegal pollution of Coyote Creek, Mowry Slough and San Francisco Bay
by Bill Jennings, CSPA Executive Director
March 7. 2010 -- CSPA has settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit against Tri City Rock Inc. regarding serious violations of the California General Industrial Stormwater Permit. Tri City Rock operates a ready-mix concrete, building materials, and landscaping materials facility in Fremont, California. Stormwater runoff discharges to the City of Fremont storm sewer system, which empties into Coyote Creek or Mowry Slough and thence San Francisco Bay. The Settlement Agreement is attached.
A 60-day notice letter of intent to sue was sent in May 2009 and a lawsuit was filed in federal court on August 2009. The actions alleged that Tri City Rock, Inc. illegally discharged excessive concentrations of numerous pollutants in violation of their stormwater permit and the Clean Water Act. Tri City Rock 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 Tri City Rock 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 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, Tri City Rock agreed to send $18,000 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 and the Law Offices of Andrew Packard represented CSPA in this matter.