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Foundry sued over alleged water violations

Keywords: Tags  Pacific Steel Casting, San Fransisco Baykeeper, stormwater runoff, Samuel Frizell

NEW YORK — A California environmental group has filed a lawsuit against Pacific Steel Casting Co. for allegedly allowing stormwater runoff to be discharged into the San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco Baykeeper claims that the Berkeley, Calif.-based steel foundry has discharged stormwater runoff from its plant near the bay during heavy rainfalls, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

"The polluted stormwater discharged from the facility during every significant rain event contains pollutants harmful to fish, plant, bird life and human health," including aluminum, copper, iron, lead, zinc, chemical solvents and fuels, the nonprofit organization said in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in California.

The lawsuit also claims that Pacific Steel has not developed an adequate stormwater pollution prevention plan that would assess pollutant sources, and also has not established practices to treat and remove pollutants prior to discharge.

The lawsuit is asking for civil penalties of up to $32,500 for all violations from March 15, 2004, to Jan. 12, 2009, and $37,500 per day for violations thereafter. San Francisco Baykeeper also is asking the court to force Pacific Steel to gain compliance with the Clean Water Act.

Attorneys for Pacific Steel and San Francisco Baykeeper declined to comment.

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