Eden Environmental Citizens Group Sues Manterex Inc. for Violations of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act

On Friday, Eden Environmental Citizens Group, LLC filed a complaint in the Northern District of California against Mantrex Inc. alleging violations of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. 

According to the complaint, Eden is an environmental membership group and a California limited liability company. Eden states that its organizational purpose is the protection, preservation and enhancement of California’s waterways, and it implements this mission by enforcing the provisions of the Federal Clean Water Act and California’s Industrial General Permit by seeking redress from environmental harms caused by Industrial Dischargers who pollute the waters of the United States.

The complaint states that Manterex Inc. is a California corporation that does business as WIT Sales & Refining. Further, the complaint states that WIT Sales is in the industry of recovering nonferrous and precious metals and alloys from new and used through secondary smelting and refining and by use of chemical processes. Further, Eden alleges the defendant stores industrial materials outdoors that can be exposed to stormwater, eroded by wind and otherwise contaminate the surrounding watershed.

Eden alleges that stormwater flows over the defendant’s facility, collects suspended sediment, dirt, metals and other pollutants, and then the polluted storm water eventually discharges into the San Francisco Bay and navigable waters of the United States. Eden argues that the defendant has insufficient structural stormwater control measures at its facility, and the defendant’s management practices are inadequate to prevent pollutants contained in its stormwater discharges from polluting the waters of the United States. 

Additionally, the complaint purports that the defendant has failed to comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits and operated its facility without the required permit for an extended time. Further, the complaint alleges the defendant has failed to develop an adequate Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan and site map and has failed to collect, analyze, monitor and report stormwater pollution at its facility.

Eden argues that the defendant’s alleged pollution of the San Francisco Bay and waters of the United States through its stormwater discharge has caused its members to suffer ongoing harm to their aesthetic and recreational interests in the polluted waterways.

Accordingly, Eden has brought the present lawsuit with six causes of action including failure to develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan, a monitoring and reporting program, implement best available and conventional treatment technologies, discharges of contaminated stormwater in violation of its permits and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and failure to properly train facility employees and pollution prevention team. The plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, an order for the defendant to pay civil penalties of $51,570 per day, per violation, attorney’s fees and costs.