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City of Lompoc reaches tentative settlement with Environmental Defense Center

LOMPOC, Calif. – The city of Lompoc announced on Thursday that it has reached a tentative settlement with the Environmental Defense Center regarding a Clean Water Act lawsuit.

The lawsuit claimed that the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant discharges allegedly violated permit limitations over the last five years.

However, of the more than 3,000 violations alleged in the suit, the court only found the city liable for 86, and all of the discharges found in "violation" resulted from inaccurate testing yielding false positives, according to city spokeswoman Samantha Scroggin.

None of the violations caused environmental harm and the city has corrected the testing problem, Scroggin said.

The city felt it was best to resolve the case by making payments to fund programs to improve the environmental quality of the San Miguelito Creek and the Santa Ynez River rather than going to trial, Scroggin said.

Mayor Jenelle Osborne said that, although unfortunate that the city tests were inaccurate, the city publicly self-reported each "violation" over the years as required by law.

The settlement must still be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice and approved by the court before it becomes final.

"The City has always placed great value on protecting water resources and providing safe, affordable, sustainable water to the residents of the City of Lompoc, Vandenberg Space Force Base, and Vandenberg Village, and will continue to do so," Scroggin said.

"Water is a valuable resource, especially in times of extreme drought, and the City is committed to keeping its water and wastewater services among the best in the Central Coast."

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here

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