Santa Clara Plating Company Agrees to Keep Toxic Runoff from Polluting the Bay

CSL, a metal plating and coating company in Santa Clara, recently agreed to keep contaminated rainwater from running off of its site and into storm drains that eventually flow to San Francisco Bay.

Baykeeper sued the company under the federal Clean Water Act because its storm water runoff contained high levels of aluminum, zinc, iron, nitrate, nitrite, and acid.  These pollutants are toxic to fish and other aquatic life. 

CSL provides custom metal plating and other types of coatings to aerospace, medical, electronics, semiconductor, and energy companies. Operations take place indoors, but the facility’s exhaust system has been depositing pollutants on the roof. 

The company operators were cooperative in working with Baykeeper to find solutions to the pollution problems. CSL’s legally-binding agreement with Baykeeper requires the company to wash its roof regularly. The wash water will be sent into the sewer system for processing at the municipal wastewater treatment plant. In addition, CSL will install filters on its downspouts to filter storm water running off the roof.

To partly make up for past pollution, CSL will provide funds to the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment for projects that benefit San Francisco Bay.

This agreement with CSL is the 33rd victory in Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign. The campaign targets the widespread problem of illegal storm water runoff that flows into San Francisco Bay from Bay Area industrial facilities. In addition to legal action against facilities found to be significantly polluting the Bay, the campaign includes advocacy and litigation to strengthen regulation of industrial storm water.