Waste company found liable for environmental violations
One of the largest providers of waste management
services in the Bay area is facing penalties from
the United States Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), 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.
EPA inspectors found evidence California Waste Solutions
(CWS) violated its permit and discharged waste and
other pollutants into nearby waterways in three
locations for nearly five 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
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 the San Francisco Bay.
At 2 CWS Oakland facilities, at least 74 rainfall
incidents caused surface water runoff to discharge
litter and debris into the San Francisco Bay’s Oakland
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.
The Clean Water Act requires waste management companies
to have controls in place to prevent pollutants
from being discharged with storm water into nearby
waterways. They must have a storm water pollution
prevention plan that sets guidelines and best management
practices to follow, to prevent runoff from being
contaminated by pollutants.