California Waste Co. Liable for CWA Violations

One of the largest providers of waste management services in the Bay area is facing penalties from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, after being been found liable for numerous violations of the Clean Water Act. The company, California Waste Solutions, provides waste management services for large portions of Oakland and San Jose, according to a Sept. 3 press release.

Agency inspectors found evidence California Waste Solutions violated its permit and discharged waste and other pollutants into nearby waterways in three locations for nearly 5 years.

"The EPA requires companies to take simple, basic steps to prevent pollution," said Alexis Strauss, Water Division director for EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "We expect a company responsible for large municipal contracts in the Bay to protect San Francisco Bay and comply with federal and state pollution requirements."

At the San Jose facility, at least 35 rainfall incidents caused surface water runoff to discharge litter, zinc, recyclables, and other pollutants into Coyote creek – a tributary to San Francisco Bay.

At two of the company's Oakland facilities, at least 74 rainfall incidents caused surface water runoff to discharge litter and debris into the San Francisco Bay's Oakland waterfront.

The Oakland Shoreline and Coyote Creek are home to Endangered Species Act-listed species. Coyote Creek provides critical habitat for California Central Coast Steelhead trout.

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