A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge has ordered a local construction company to immediately stop dumping hazardous and corrosive construction waste on protected agricultural land in rural Almaden Valley.
The order against United Concrete Cutting Inc., of San Jose, follows a lawsuit filed by the Santa Clara County Office of the County Counsel, which determined the company and several affiliated individuals were transporting hazardous concrete slurry waste from construction sites to a remote property in Almaden Valley, and then dumping the slurry into crudely dug pits, according to the county’s announcement Monday.
In addition, the company dug culverts directing the waste into Santa Teresa Creek, which runs through county parks and feeds into Guadalupe River and the San Francisco Bay, according to the announcement.
The court granted the counsel's request for immediate action Thursday. County Counsel James Williams emphasized that other businesses should take notice.
“It's the county's job to protect the environment and the public health, and we won't tolerate businesses that skirt the law and use protected agricultural land as dumping grounds,” he said in the announcement.
The county learned of the dumping from an anonymous complaint, which led to an extensive investigation that the county carried out in coordination with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.
Marilyn Underwood, director of the county's Department of Environmental Health, thanked the complainants and the state for their partnership.
“The people are our eyes and ears in these rural areas,” Underwood said in the announcement. “It's incredibly helpful when folks let us know about suspicious activity so we can mobilize an enforcement action to keep our community members and the environment safe from potentially hazardous contamination or pollution.”