The enforcement of California’s environmental laws is essential to protect human health, the environment, and the state and local economies. Fair and uniform enforcement of rules and regulations governing the environment benefits law abiding businesses, individuals, and improves the quality of life in our community.
Deputy District Attorneys assigned to the Environmental Protection Unit prosecute businesses and individuals who violate environmental laws and workplace safety in Ventura County. We are committed to protecting the environment and work closely with agencies tasked with achieving and enforcing environmental regulatory compliance and protecting aquatic life in our local streambeds as well as the Channel Islands and Ventura Harbors.
The Environmental Protection Unit investigates and prosecutes a variety of cases in collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies. These cases range from the illegal transportation and disposal of hazardous waste, oilfield related petroleum releases, illegal disposal of medical waste, underground storage tank leak detection monitoring deficiencies and improper management of pesticides; all of which can negatively impact public safety, human health, wildlife, and our natural resources.
Along with our team of prosecutors and investigators, the Environmental Protection Unit includes an Environmental Specialist with over 25 years of environmental experience whose technical expertise, knowledge of complex regulatory laws and statutes, and industry operations contributes to the success of the unit’s criminal and civil prosecutions.
The District Attorney’s Office Environmental Protection Unit regularly hosts Environmental Crimes Task Force meetings attended by multiple agencies in furtherance of our commitment to protect the environment. These agencies include the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, Ventura County Environmental Health, California Department of Toxic Substance Control, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, California Environmental Protection Agency, California State Water Resources Control Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ventura County Fire Department. Together we coordinate local, state and federal efforts to investigate and prosecute environmental crimes in Ventura County.
Regulatory agencies as well as private citizens can refer environmental concerns regarding unlawful conduct by companies and persons to the Environmental Protection Unit for possible investigation and prosecution. The Environmental Protection Unit files criminal charges as well as civil lawsuits to obtain permanent injunctions and civil penalties that stop illegal activity and hold those responsible for harming the environment.
CONTACT THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION UNIT
The $100,000 settlement is comprised of civil penalties and cost recovery to the Ventura County Environmental Health Division (VCEHD) and the District Attorney’s Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit (CEPU). This case was investigated by both agencies, which determined 4JR engaged in a pattern of significant violations under the law.
A spontaneous fire from store waste led to an investigation directed by the District Attorney’s Office which discovered that Bed Bath and Beyond was systematically sending regulated hazardous wastes from stores to local landfills throughout California. In a stipulated Final Judgment, Bed Bath and Beyond agreed to pay $1,327,500 in civil penalties and reimbursement of…
Pipeline Company and Contractor Responsible for 2016 Ventura Oil Spill Reach $1.6 Million Civil Settlement with State and County Agencies
A June 2016 spill occurred from a crude oil pipeline owned by Crimson following a valve replacement operation and restart of the pipeline. New valve flanges were not properly tightened by Crimson’s contractor, CD Lyon, which caused the release of more than 44,000 gallons of crude oil, damaged local natural resources, and required a comprehensive…
After his guilty plea, Gonzalez was immediately sentenced by Judge David Hirsch to 30 days in the Ventura County Jail, 30 days in a work release program, and 240 hours of community service at an animal shelter. He was also placed on three years of summary probation and ordered to pay restitution.
Between June 2016 and December 9, 2016, Arcturus negligently disposed of, or caused the disposal of, hazardous waste at unauthorized locations: the Del Norte Recycling Center located at 111 S. Del Norte Boulevard, Oxnard; and Gold Coast Recycling & Transfer Station located at 5275 Colt Street and Sperry Avenue, Ventura.
The settlement resolves allegations that the Anterra Companies violated state laws regarding their transportation, handling, and disposal of oilfield waste. The complaint alleges that although the Anterra Companies were allowed by the California Department of Conservation, Department of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources to receive and dispose of non-hazardous “Class II” material produced from other…