The Sierra Club filed a $2.3-million lawsuit Tuesday against Chevron USA Inc. for allegedly dumping illegal levels of grease, oil, ammonia, chromium and other byproducts into Santa Monica Bay.
The San Francisco-based environmental group claims in the Los Angeles federal court suit that the oil company's monitors recorded illegal levels of pollutants at least 265 times during the past eight years, violating both its state license to operate an ocean pipeline and the federal Clean Water Act.
Chevron has a license to pump treated waste water from its El Segundo oil refinery into the bay using a pipeline 500 feet from shore, but is required to keep the refinery byproducts at certain levels to minimize pollution.
Sierra Club attorney Deborah S. Reames wrote in the suit that the club sent notices of the alleged violations to both the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the California Water Resources Board on Sept. 11, 1984.
The group finally filed the suit after neither agency took court action to correct the problem.
The club asks the federal court to make the company pay a $10,000 fine for each of the 236 alleged violations, shut down its refinery until the violations cease and to pay all legal fees in the case.