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CSPA Advisory August 24, 2010 

CSPA Settles Castle & King Lawsuit

By Bill Jennings, CSPA Executive Director
August 24, 2010 -- CSPA has settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit against Castle & King regarding serious violations of the California General Industrial Stormwater Permit and Clean Water Act. Castle & King operates a ready mix concrete facility in Vacaville, California. The facility discharges pollutants to tributaries of Alamo Creek and thence Cache Slough and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

A 60-day notice letter of intent to sue was sent in January 2010 and a lawsuit was filed in federal court on 25 March 2010. The actions alleged that the facility illegally discharged excessive concentrations of pollutants in violation of their stormwater permit and the Clean Water Act. Castle & King also failed to develop, implement and update an adequate Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and an adequate monitoring and reporting plan.

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 Castle and King 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, Castle & King agreed to send $30,000 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.

The Law Offices of Andrew Packard and Lozeau Drury LLP represented CSPA in this matter.

Read the consent agreement.