California Communities Against Toxics, Mattco Forge reach settlement over polluted storm water allegations

By Charmaine Little | Jun 14, 2018

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – A California company alleged to have released polluted storm water into Los Angeles waterways has reached a settlement with the environmental group that filed a lawsuit against it.

The proposed settlement was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in April.

Nonprofit group California Communities Against Toxics sued California corporation Mattco Forge Inc. over claims it polluted Los Angeles waters when it released toxic waters from its building into the city’s waterways, Legal Newsline previously reported. 

The plaintiff requested that the defendant be enjoined and ordered to receive monitoring and provide status updates as well as pay no more than $37,500 for each of its alleged violation after March 21, 2012, and no more than $51,570 for violations that happened after Nov. 2, 2015. The plaintiff also sought relief for attorney fees.

In the settlement agreement, the defendant arranged to make a one-time payment of $2,500 within 15 days of the effective date to make up for fees the plaintiff had to pay to monitor the defendant’s compliance. The defendant would be under breach of the consent decree if it didn’t make the payment in the time frame appointed.

The defendant also agreed to pay $1,500 for each action plan outlined in the agreement. The defendant had to submit an action plan to report details of its pollutants to the plaintiff. The plaintiff had 30 days to provide feedback.

The defendant also settled to make a $30,000 payment within 30 days to the As You Sow project that aims to improve water quality and help reduce or stop actions similar to the defendant’s.

The consent decree also required storm water pollution measures to be implemented at the defendant's facility, including installing and maintaining appropriate coverages on presses, installing model catch basin inserts and filling cracks in ground surfaces.

The defendant agreed to pay back the plaintiff for the investigation and legal costs accrued such as attorneys’ fees. This number amounted to $29,500.

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