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Environmental suit against Calif. recycler moves ahead

Keywords: Tags  Chico Scrap Metal Inc., California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, lawsuit, Clean Water Act, lawsuit, Rey Mashayekhi

NEW YORK — A California scrap company is facing a lawsuit for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act.

The suit filed by the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) against Chico Scrap Metal Inc., Chico, Calif., initially was thrown out by the U.S. District Court in California because the Butte County District Attorney’s office had previously filed criminal and civil cases against the recycler.

But the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the state’s action against Chico Scrap Metal was not equivalent to penalties for Clean Water Act violations, and ruled last week that the CSPA lawsuit alleging violations of industrial stormwater regulations can proceed.

California’s Department of Toxic Substances investigated Chico Scrap Metal in 2007 and found allegedly unlawful transportation and disposal of hazardous waste. The Butte County District Attorney’s office did not pursue criminal and civil actions against the company after it entered a plea in 2008 (, Oct. 22, 2009).

The CSPA, Chico Scrap Metal and the recycler’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

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