Industrial Facility Accused of Polluting Los Angeles Waters

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Waterkeeper filed a complaint in the Central District of California alleging that Safeshred Co., Inc. has not followed the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and asked the court to enjoin the company from discharging polluted stormwater and violating its permit, order it to implement stormwater pollution measures and comply with monitoring and reporting requirements, and order the defendant to pay up to $55,800 for filations occurring after November 2, 2015. 

The defendant, reportedly, had not acquired a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit, so it would reportedly fall under the General Permit issued by the state of California for industrial stormwater discharges, however, it reportedly did not comply with the prohibitions in the General Permit. 

Safeshred Co., operates an industrial facility in Commerce, Calif., which reportedly has breached the act and violated requirements including treating, reporting, and monitoring stormwater discharges. Los Angeles Waterkeeper alleged that stormwater discharge from the facility is harming the “ecologically sensitive areas” near Los Angeles which provide habitats for fish, birds, and other species who are dependent on the water. 

In addition to harm to native species, the plaintiff also claimed that the pollutants added to local waters by the storm water from the facility influence aesthetic and recreational uses of the Los Angeles area waters, specifically water contact sports which, with the stormwater discharge, could expose people to toxic metals and contaminants in the water. 

The complaint alleged that “with every significant rainfall event, millions of gallons of polluted storm water originating from industrial operations, such as those conducted by Defendant, pour into storm drains and local waterways.” It claimed that stormwater pollution accounts for over half of surface water pollution. 

The plaintiff, represented by Lozeau Drury LLP, cited the Clean Water Act, the General Permit, and the Basin Plan established by the regional board for waters in the area.