Lawsuit Filed Against City Over Old Dump

122415 suit filed over C str dumpWaste Action Project, represented by Smith & Lowney, PLLC, has filed suit against the City of Shelton, Washington to enforce closure regulations at the City’s historic C Street dump.   

Owned and operated by the City of Shelton, the C Street Dump, also known as the Shelton Landfill, began operations around 1928 at the site of a former gravel pit. The C Street Dump is unlined and operated as an unpermitted open dump, receiving and burning industrial and municipal waste, including sewage sludge, baghouse ash, industrial and military chemicals, and residential waste until at least 1986.  The dump site has not been properly closed or covered violating numerous state and federal solid and hazardous waste regulations enacted under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6901 et. seq. (RCRA). Toxic substances including dioxins, furans, solvents, PCBs, acetone, petroleum products, tributyltin, pesticides, semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), wood waste chemical, and metals (aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury and zinc) contaminate the soil and, likely, groundwater at the dump, which is located in a critical aquifer recharge area.

“With plans for the proposed Shelton Hills Development, we want to ensure the City of Shelton fulfills its obligations to protect our citizens and their children from further exposure to toxic waste dumped here for decades,” said Will Durham, Waste Action Project Member and Shelton resident.

To ensure proper closure of the toxic site, Waste Action Project filed a civil action for a declaratory and injunctive relief, the imposition of civil penalties, and the award of costs and fees under the citizen suit provisions of RCRA, specifically Section 6972(a)(1)(A) on December 21, 2015. This action was filed in Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington one year after Waste Action Project notified the City of its intent to sue to enforce closure regulations applicable to the C Street Dump.

The Washington State Department of Ecology and the City of Shelton have recently begun a process for assessing the site and for remediation under the State Model Toxics Control Act. However, this process is notoriously slow, and both the City and Ecology have failed to acknowledge an accurate history of the site and closure requirements.

Waste Action Project is a non-profit, public interest, environmental advocacy organization with members who are concerned about the health and safety of their communities, environment, watershed, and sea life.

Greg Wingard, Executive Director of Waste Action Project, stated “After nearly 30 years of failure to meet landfill closure requirements and protect residents and the environment, it is long past time to hold Shelton responsible. That is what this litigation seeks to do. Proper closure and cleanup of this site is crucial.”