Waterkeeper’s Tireless Enforcement of the Clean Water Act
In October 2014, LA Waterkeeper successfully settled a series of lawsuits against Republic Services,the second largest waste collection and management company in the United States. Stormwater samples collected by Republic Services and Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s team during the last five years demonstrated that seven of the company’s sites in Los Angeles County are discharging heavy metals, including lead, zinc and copper, fecal bacteria and oil and grease many times above legal limits. All of these polluted discharges resulted in further degradation of the already impaired Los Angeles River, Dominguez Channel and Compton Creek. Following months of negotiations, the Republic Services agreed to implement extensive improvements of the stormwater and non-stormwater pollution control measures at its’ sites located from Sun Valley to the north to Long Beach to the south. Many of the measures include not only better training for employees and management and increased sweeping and maintenance of existing controls but also treatment of stormwater through mini rain gardens and infiltration to clean up the pollution and replenish groundwater basins to help conserve precious water in the drought.
Just five days after our settlement with Republic Services, we filed a new lawsuit against Community Recycling and Resource Recovery and Crown Disposal in Sun Valley which, at more than 12 acres, is one of largest waste transfer facilities in California. Our lawsuit seeks to eliminate polluted discharges of stormwater into the Los Angeles River carrying high levels of bacteria, metals and oil and grease among other constituents. Our litigation team truly never stops and you can help us continue our work to hold companies accountable for polluting our rivers and coastal waters by supporting us at https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/LAWaterkeeper/OnlineDonation.html.
– Tatiana Gaur, Senior Attorney