Hundreds of Self-Reported Violations - Polluted Discharges into Drinking Water -
(2015-04-09, Chester, CA) A Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water and Toxics Enforcement Act (“Proposition 65”) lawsuit was served today in the federal Eastern District Court of California against Collins Pine Company for its sawmill and biomass incinerator operations, which have caused pollution for years in this small community of approximately 2,000 residents. The suit was filed by Aqua Terra Aeris (ATA) Law Group on behalf of local group, Community Health Watch (CHW), and an international toxics watchdog, Global Community Monitor (GCM) (who was recently featured on 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper (http://www.gcmonitor.org/watch-gcm-on-60-minutes). Community Health Watch and Global Community Monitor seek an injunction to halt the habitual and pervasive pollution caused by Collins Pine Company’s discharges, emissions and dumping of toxic pollutants, in addition to civil penalties.
State and federal law prohibit discharges of carcinogens, reproductive toxics and pollutants as a means to avoid harm to persons and the environment. Hundreds of hours of research on official reports revealed significant, continuing pollution caused by the Collins Pine Company to drinking water sources, forested land, and surface waters in Chester, CA and the surrounding areas.
“These discharges and releases of toxics and water pollutants were more than the occasional lapse – the self-reported violations suggest an unlawful pattern and practice engaged in by CPC. Despite violations noted by regulators over a number of years, we continue to discover additional violations,” said Matthew Maclear of ATA Law Group.
With hundreds of self-reported violations and other discharges and emissions of Proposition 65 listed chemicals, the public health of the local community has been adversely affected according to information collected by local leaders of Community Health Watch.
The families in the Chester deserve clean air and water free of cancer causing chemicals," said Denny Larson of GCM. "The apparent rampant releases from the outdated incinerator and treatment technologies must stop."
The violations noted to date, include disposals and discharges containing known carcinogens, reproductive toxicants and other pollutants. Ineffective government oversight has failed to stop the ongoing pollution. CHW and GCM are requesting that Collins Pine Company be required to manage its operations properly in conformance with state and federal laws.
CHW is an unincorporated citizen group located in Chester, California. The mission and focus of CHW is to protect the combined social, health, environmental and cultural conditions that influence individuals and the community in the Chester and Lake Almanor area of Plumas County, California
GCM is a nonprofit public-benefit corporation, based in El Cerrito, California, whose mission is to protect the global environmental through education, community mobilizing, training and focus on underserved communities harmed by industrial pollution.
ATA Law Group represents nonprofits, community groups, property owners, environmental justice communities and individuals impacted by pollution.