SAN FRANCISCO -- A California environmental group is suing Cirexx International, alleging the manufacturer and assembler of printed circuit boards is polluting the local waterways.

The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court, asserts Santa Clara, CA-based Cirexx is responsible for releasing various pollutants in violation of its storm water permit and the Clean Water Act. The alleged pollutants can cause damage to the water optics and the environment, said the complainant, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance.

The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, the imposition of civil penalties, and the award of costs, including attorney and expert witness fees.

Section 301(a) of the Clean Water Act prohibits discharge of any pollutant into waters of the United States unless the discharge complies with various enumerated sections of the CWA.

According to the lawsuit, the facility processes copper, iron, nitrate, zinc, and aluminum, among others, which are listed as toxic pollutants under US codes. Per the complaint: "Pollutants associated with industrial activities at the [Cirexx] Facility collect on the roofs and escape from enclosed areas from ventilation systems and open doors and windows. Industrial activities are performed outdoors and lead to pollutants accumulating on surfaces and equipment. These pollutants are later discharged with storm water to the municipal storm system which flows to the Guadalupe River and empties into the San Francisco Bay, South. The Guadalupe River and the San Francisco Bay are waters of the United States."

PCB West: The leading technical conference and exhibition for electronics engineers. Coming Oct. 4-7 to the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center.


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