Shasta Beverages, the California beverage producer, was sued in the Northern District of California on Friday by an environmental group for discharge permit violations. EDEN Environmental Citizens Group sued nearly a year after providing notice of the defendant’s Clean Water Act violations to the relevant state and federal agencies.
The plaintiffs explained that “EDEN’s organizational purpose is the protection, preservation and enhancement of California’s waterways. Its mission is implemented by enforcing the provisions of the Federal Clean Water Act and California’s Industrial General Permit,” through the use of citizen suits, if needed.
The complaint alleged that Shasta discharges storm water into a municipal drain system as well as a drainage ditch, both of which drain to the San Francisco Bay by way of the Alameda River. EDEN’s claims center on allegations that Shasta stores certain materials outdoors, where they may be exposed to stormwater which then flows into protected waters.
“Plaintiff is informed and believes, and thereupon alleges that the storm water flows over the surface of the Facility where industrial activities occur and areas where airborne materials associated with the industrial processes at the facility may settle onto the ground,” the complaint said.
The plaintiff alleged six actionable Clean Water Act violations, as well as an action for recovery of costs under the “catalyst theory,” which states that”if a plaintiff is a catalyst in encouraging a Defendant to voluntarily comply with its legal obligations, the plaintiff may recover its fees and costs.” The plaintiff is seeking an injunction and civil penalties.