Baykeeper Update

Pleasanton Concrete Manufacturer Agrees to Protect Bay from Toxic Runoff

Oldcastle Precast, a manufacturer of concrete products, recently agreed to install pollution controls to protect San Francisco Bay from contaminated runoff from its Pleasanton facility. The agreement came in response to Baykeeper’s Clean Water Act lawsuit and will protect the Bay from pollutants that include heavy metals.

This agreement for pollution cleanup is the latest victory in Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign. We have now secured legally-binding agreements requiring cleanup by 19 major Bay Area industrial facilities that had been allowing toxic substances to run off into the Bay.

Oldcastle is the largest precast concrete manufacturer in the US and its Pleasanton facility is one of 80 Oldcastle production and sales sites nationwide. The company makes large concrete products that include building columns, walls, pipes, and linings for trenches and culverts. The products are cast in reusable molds at the Oldcastle facility, then transported to construction sites and lifted into place.

Materials used to make concrete are stored outdoors on the Oldcastle Pleasanton site, and when rain falls, the storm water picks up pollutants. For five years during the rainy season, contaminated water has been running off Oldcastle’s site to into storm drains that empty into Arroyo del Valle Creek. From there, the contaminants flow to Alameda Creek, which empties into San Francisco Bay.

Oldcastle has been extremely cooperative with Baykeeper, and has already begun taking action to reduce its pollution of the Bay. The company will install controls that include a structure called a settling vault designed to collect and treat polluted storm water.   

Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign targets 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 Oldcastle Precast and other facilities found to be significantly polluting the Bay, the campaign includes outreach and education to industrial facilities, and advocacy for tighter regulations on industrial storm water.