Oakland Metal Recycler to Clean Up Its Bay Pollution

Sep 10, 2012
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Lakeside Nonferrous Metals, an Oakland metal recycling company, agreed last week to move one of its outdoor facilities indoors and take other measures to prevent rainy-season pollution of San Francisco Bay.

Baykeeper sued Lakeside after documenting that the recycler’s storm water runoff has violated Environmental Protection Agency limits on lead, aluminum, and other toxic pollutants.

Lakeside recycles aluminum, brass, scrap metal, and other metals that don’t contain iron. Storm water from the site flows into storm drains that lead directly to the Oakland Estuary, a few blocks away. The estuary flows into San Francisco Bay.

The company has signed a legally-binding agreement that requires it to close one of its two Oakland recycling facilities and move it to an indoor location, where no storm water contamination can occur. Lakeside has also agreed to make several upgrades at its second facility, located on Madison Street. Before this year’s rainy season begins, the company will install either an advanced storm water treatment system or complete overhead coverage to prevent any storm water contamination. In addition, Lakeside will increase sweeping and better manage materials.

Along with the site upgrades, Lakeside will regularly test its storm water runoff to ensure it meets legal pollution limits. Baykeeper will monitor Lakeside in coming years to make sure the company makes adequate progress in reducing pollution.

To help mitigate for past pollution, Lakeside is contributing funds to the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, which funds Bay Area environmental restoration projects by other nonprofits.

This agreement with Lakeside is the latest victory in Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry campaign. The campaign’s goal is to rein in widespread, illegal runoff that flows into San Francisco Bay from most of the Bay Area’s 1,300 industrial facilities. In addition to legal action against Lakeside and other facilities found to be significantly polluting the Bay, the campaign includes outreach and education to industrial polluters and advocacy to strengthen controls on industrial storm water.

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