California Manufacturer Settles Storm Water Runoff Pollution Case

OXNARD, Calif. (CN) – A California manufacturing company has agreed to clean up its act as part of a settlement agreement, by ensuring storm water runoff from its Ventura County facility will not pollute nearby beaches and coastal waters along the Pacific Coast.

Southern California nonprofit Wishtoyo Foundation and Ventura Coastkeeper filed their federal lawsuit against Arcturus Manufacturing Corporation in March 2017 over industrial runoff from the Oxnard facility.

The complaint alleged that the manufacturing company was responsible for millions of gallons of runoff made up of metal components and byproducts from aerospace, chemical processing and oil and gas industries.

The runoff found its way into storm drains and the facility was not in compliance with the Clean Water Act, according to the complaint. Now closed, the 10-acre Ventura County facility is located near the site of a former metal recycling facility and now superfund site, a location deemed as a risk to human health by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Areas impacted by the Arcturus runoff include the Ormond Beach Wetlands, the Pacific Ocean and several other public locations, including habitat for dozens of fish and bird species, according to the complaint.

Along with compliance with state water law, Arcturus will pay $150,000 to two ocean conservation and education groups to analyze pollution and runoff as part of the settlement agreement.

One of those groups includes Multicultural Education for Resources Issues Threatening Oceans Foundation. Executive Director Rocio Lozano said the settlement will go to education programming for 4th to 12th grade students who will collect data for habitat and ecosystem analysis and train to monitor water quality.

“I am very proud of what has happened,” Lozano said. “We are thrilled and humbled that the Wishtoyo Foundation have helped this settlement.”

As part of the settlement agreement, approximately 100 soil test samples will be taken to study the impact to the area and Arcturus has agreed to update its storm water runoff and monitoring policies at the now closed facility.

In a statement, Wishtoyo Executive Director Mati Waiya said, “Because of this case, the historic discharges of pollutants from Arcturus into these sacred waterways will come to an end.”

An email and phone call for comment to Arcturus Manufacturing were not immediately returned.

 

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