Eden Environmental Citizens Group Sues West Coast Metals for Violations of the Clean Water Act

On Monday, Eden Environmental Citizens Group, LLC filed a complaint in the Northern District of California against West Coast Metals, Inc. alleging violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the purported pollution of the Russian River in northern California. 

According to the complaint, Eden is a California Limited Liability company and environmental membership group with the mission of protecting, preserving and enhancing California’s waterways. The complaint states Eden implements this mission by seeking redress from environmental harms caused by Industrial Dischargers who pollute the waters of the United States through the enforcement of the CWA and California’s Industrial General Permit. 

Further, the complaint states that West Coast Metals is a California corporation in the business of collecting, recycling and disposing of scrap waste and materials. 

The complaint alleges that West Coast Metals stores industrial materials outdoors that can be exposed to stormwater, eroded by wind and otherwise contaminate the surrounding watershed. Further, the complaint purports that stormwater flows over the surface of West Coast Metals facility, where industrial activities occur and industrial material is stored, which collects sediment, dirt, metals and other pollutants that are discharged into the Russian River, a navigable water of the United States.  

The plaintiff claims that the discharge of pollutants is in violation of the Clean Water Act and California’s Industrial General Permit. Additionally, the plaintiff alleges that there are insufficient structural stormwater control measures installed at the defendant’s facility and the defendant’s current management practices are inadequate to prevent the discharge of pollutants. 

The plaintiff argues that the pollutants discharged into the Russian River from the facility adversely impairs Eden’s members ability to enjoy and use the natural resources of the Russian River and results in adverse environmental effects to the Russian River and surrounding areas. 

Eden notes that on February 1, 2022, it provided the defendant with a notice of the facility’s violations and Eden’s intent to sue West Coast Metals. The complaint states that more than 60 days have passed since the notice was properly and lawfully served to the defendant, and Eden has accordingly filed suit. 

The plaintiff brings the present case alleging failure to develop an adequate stormwater pollution prevention plan, a monitoring and reporting program, failure to implement the best available and conventional treatment technologies, failure to properly train facility employees and discharge of contaminated stormwater in violation of the CWA and California’s Industrial General Permit.

For the alleged violations, Eden seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, civil penalties of $51,570 per day/per violation for each violation of the CWA, attorney’s fees and costs. 

The plaintiff is represented by the Law Office of Craig A. Brandt.