Communities for a Better Environment v. Corteva Inc. et al.

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Credit: The Center for Land Use Interpretation, CC-BY 3.0

Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), one of California’s premier environmental justice organizations, is suing to clean up a Bay Area chemical manufacturing plant. CBE is being represented by attorneys from NRDC and the Aqua Terra Aeris Law Group.

The Corteva Pittsburg Operations plant in Pittsburg, California produces agricultural chemicals and has been operating a wastewater treatment system since at least 2016, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspected the plant. EPA sampled the wastewater treatment system tanks and found corrosive and toxic hazardous chemicals, including tetrachloroethylene and methylene chloride—chemicals that seriously affect the central nervous system and liver and likely cause cancer. The plant, which is located near low-income communities and communities of color that are already exposed to disproportionately high levels of pollution, did not have authorization to treat hazardous waste.

In 2019, CBE sued in federal court to force the plant to comply with hazardous waste laws. In 2020, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) conducted its own inspection, again confirming that the plant was illegally treating hazardous waste. In 2021, DTSC brought another case in state court for these violations against the alleged current and former owners and operators of the plant, including Corteva, Inc. and the Dow Chemical Company. 

On February 15, 2022, CBE joined DTSC’s state court case as a plaintiff-intervenor.

NRDC is proud that its attorneys are supporting CBE in representing local communities and forcing polluters to clean up their act.

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