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CSPA Action Alert May 24, 2010 

CSPA Petitions Carnegie to State Water Board

May 24, 2010 -- The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) and the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) have filed a petition for review with the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) over the Regional Water Quality Control Board's (Regional Board) failure to act to control pollutant discharges from the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (Carnegie SVRA) to Corral Hollow Creek, just south of Tracy California.

In September 2001, CSPA/PEER sued the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and Carnegie SVRA, in Alameda Superior Court, for massive violations of the state's Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act in discharging pollutants into Corral Hollow Creek without a permit. Monitoring demonstrated that the facility discharged concentrations of turbidity, total suspended solids, iron, zinc, lead, copper and aluminum at concentrations far exceeding applicable water quality objectives.

On 7 December 2001, Judge Frank Roesch ordered DPR to suspend all activity at the facility until they requested and received a waste discharge permit for activities at Carnegie SVRA. DPR appealed and the appellate court ruled that CSPA/PEER had not exhausted administrative remedies and should have first petitioned the Regional Board to issue a permit. The Regional Board had known that Carnegie SVRA was operating without a permit for many years without taking enforcement action.

On 19 March 2010, CSPA/PEER petitioned the Regional Board to: 1) order DPR to submit a complete Report of Waste Discharge and comply with the California Water Code and water quality objectives; 2) order DPR to cease new or modified discharges that the department had initiated since it begin operating Carnegie SVRA in 1980; and 3) prepare an appropriate water quality monitoring plan.

The Regional Board failed to respond to the petition within 60 days, as required by law. Consequently, CSPA/PEER has petitioned the State Board to review the Regional Board's failure to act. Should the State Board fail to act on the petition or fail to require the Regional Board to comply with the Water Code, CSPA/PEER intend to return to court - this time including the Regional Board as a defendant.

Lozeau Drury LLP is representing CSPA/PEER in this matter.

Read CSPA’s petition here.