Coastkeeper and Bronze Foundry Settle Lawsuit Over Polluted Runoff

Fox Hills Industries in Huntington Beach. Google Maps photo

Orange County Coastkeeper and a Huntington Beach bronze foundry have settled a federal lawsuit in which the clean-water nonprofit alleged the facility was polluting Huntington Harbour, Bolsa Chica Channel and Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge.

The complaint, which went before U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter in Santa Ana in February of last year, came after Costa Mesa-based Coastkeeper spent the previous year testing rainwater that flowed from Fox Hills’ facility at 5831 Research Drive.

Having determined that the runoff contained 300 times the allowable level of copper, Coastkeeper filed a federal notice to get Fox Hills to comply with its industrial storm water permit and the national Clean Water Act.

The two sides entered negotiations that ended with the foundry agreeing to capture and reuse all on-site stormwater before it flows into local waterways, according to Coastkeeper.

“This should be a model for other industrial facilities in Orange County,” says Garry Brown, the local Coastkeeper founder and president.

Fox Hills plans to make necessary modifications to its facility by June, according to Coastkeeper.

The settlement is subject to final review by Carter’s court.

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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