State Polluted Morro Bay, Says Oyster Farmer

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – An oyster farm says it was forced to shut down after the State of California dumped fecal coliform bacteria from toilets at a state campground into Morro Bay. Tomales Bay Shellfish Farms says the state dumped so much waste into the bay and a creek that it may have to close for three years.

     The oyster farm sued the California Department of Parks and Recreation in Federal Court.
     The oyster farm says the state forced it to close down in May after the department violated the Clean Water Act by regularly dumping waste from toilets at Morro Bay State Park Campground into Morro Bay and nearby Chorro Creek, which flows through the farm.
     Tomales said the pollution is so bad that it might not be able to open again until May 2011.
     Tomales leases farm habitat from the California Fish and Game Department. It says the bay is also used for swimming and water recreation, marine habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species, and fishing.
     Tomales seeks declaratory and injunctive relief. It also wants the department to pay civil penalties of $32,500 for every day of Clean Water Act violations.
     Tomales is represented by John Alden with Nardell, Chitsaz & Alden of San Rafael.
     The 13-page lawsuit includes 18 pages of attachments.

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