Environmentalists have sued to block an asphalt plant in Mendocino County from what they argue is illegal pollution of a tributary to the Eel River in violation of the Clean Water Act.
The federal lawsuit filed Monday by the Friends of Outlet Creek (FOC) accuses Grist Creed Aggregates in Willets of connecting runoff pipeline from the 17-acre asphalt and aggregates processing facility to a drainage culvert allegedly allowing industrial pollutants to run into a storm water system.
The lawsuit alleges that the drainage system owned by the state empties into Outlet Creek and then to the Eel River, but that the company never got a permit required under the Clean Water Act.
Grist Creek Aggregates holds a permit to build a hot mix asphalt plant that is permitted to process 45,000 tons of asphalt annually, the suit states. The company owners, operate what’s known as the Longvale Facility. The company has allegedly produced asphalt since June 2015 and prior to that did aggregate processing, storage, aggregate wash operations and concrete recycling, which are continuing.
The FOC argue that as a result of the allegedly improper connection of a drain pipe to the state-owned storm culvert, fine particles of asphalt, concrete and other pollutants have entered the creek.
The suit suits an order the company has violated the Clean Water Act, operated without a permit and seeks an injunction against alleged illegally dumping dredge and fill materials into the creek and Eel River.
The lawsuit also seeks unspecified damages.
Case: Friends of Outlet Creek v. Grist Creek Aggregates, No. 16-cv-431