A Victory for Environmental Non-Profit Groups

Today, the U.S. District Court approved the settlement of a Clean Water Act citizens’ suit between a steel fabrication facility located in San Bernardino, California and our clients, two environmental non-profit organizations dedicated to protecting water quality in the Inland Empire and Orange County. We alleged that, for years, the facility had been allowing contaminated runoff, including toxic metals, to leave its property and enter a nearby creek, thereby contributing to ongoing pollution problems in the Santa Ana River. Under the terms of the settlement, the facility agreed to construct green space to capture and contain runoff so that it recharges groundwater rather than pollute the creek, implement stronger housekeeping measures such as vehicle maintenance and sweeping of abrasive blast material, make better use of ground cover to prevent discharge of sediment, implement more accurate monitoring and reporting of its activities, and provide better education of environmental issues for its employees. The settlement also provided for our clients to recover all of their litigation costs and attorneys’ fees, provided funds to allow them to monitor the facility’s progress and compliance for several years and the facility agreed to donate $70,000 to an environmental foundation.