The Environmental Defense Center and the city of Lompoc have reached a settlement over what the EDC calls the city’s violations of the federal Clean Water Act.
The EDC had sued the city over violations that the EDC said were caused by the Lompoc wastewater treatment facility.
The EDC said it discovered from the city’s reports that Lompoc has been discharging water contaminated with toxic pollutants for more than 20 years into the San Miguelito Creek and the Santa Ynez River.
The EDC said these discharges threaten public recreation opportunities and impact downstream water quality and the health of the Santa Ynez River ecosystem, which is regarded as important to snowy plovers and other shorebirds, along with endangered steelhead.
The settlement with the EDC requires the city of Lompoc to comply with its permit requirements under the Clean Water Act.
The requirements include monitoring to ensure discharges comply with the permit’s toxicity requirements, which are designed to protect the water quality.
The settlement also requires the city to pay $260,000 to the Rose Foundation to cover grants for restoration projects in the Santa Ynez River watershed.
The EDC said the city will also be required to conduct additional tests for chronic toxicity and to notify the EDC of any future violations of its permit, in which case, the city will be required to pay a stipulated penalty of $3,000, which will also go to the Foundation for watershed restoration projects.