Clean Water Litigation Filed Against Metal Plating Company

A complaint was filed on Wednesday in the Northern District of California against Global Plating, Inc. (Global Plating), a company whose primary services are “cleaning, polishing, anodizing and electroplating metal parts” for its purported clean water violations. The plaintiff, San Francisco Baykeeper (Baykeeper), explains that the practices Global Plating conducts at its facility culminates in the release of polluted water to Coyote Creek and the South San Francisco Bay. The plaintiff alleges that these practices are in violation of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act) as well as the General Industrial Storm Water Permit (General Permit) held by the defendant.

Baykeeper asserts that its mission is to “defend San Francisco Bay from the biggest threats, and hold polluters accountable to create healthier communities and help wildlife thrive.” The polluted water discharged from Global Plating’s facility has alarming levels of substances, including aluminum, copper, iron, lead, zinc, and more. These substances pollute the water and pose a direct risk to all users of the San Francisco Bay in addition to the aquatic life in the area, according to the complaint.

The defendant holds a General Permit that requires it to gain permission to release water or otherwise comply with certain conditions, which the plaintiff claims the defendant did not do and therefore violated the permit. Baykeeper further contends that Global Plating’s “ongoing and continuous failures to comply with the General Permit’s technology-based and water quality-based standards, planning and monitoring requirements, and other procedural and substantive requirements create liability” under the Clean Water Act.

The violations of both the Clean Water Act and the General Industrial Storm Water Permit have led Baykeeper to assert its belief that Global Plating is liable for any and all violations of both the permit and the act since May 7, 2016. The plaintiff cites irreparable harm on behalf of itself and users of the bay and seeks declaratory judgement, injunctive relief, the imposition of civil penalties, and litigation fees.

Baykeeper is represented by Anacapa Law Group, Inc., Lawyers for Clean Water, and its own counsel.