The Ecological Rights Foundation Puts Environmental
Law into Action
Ecological Rights Foundation is devoted to furthering the
rights of all people to a clean, healthful, and biologically
diverse environment. It is essential that industries afford
protection to workers, consumers, communities, and our
ecosystems, the foundations of our local economies. Through
education and the enforcement of environmental laws, we seek
to protect the public and our environment from injurious
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Our recent successes
- Persuading major manufacturers of stained glass lamps to
use lead-free solders.
- Securing commitments from California dry cleaning chains
to warn consumers of the hazards of perchloroethylene and
to provide alternative cleaning methods.
- Removing toxic constituents from common household
products, such as leather cleaners and adhesives.
- Gaining a decisive ruling,
from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, advancing the law
on citizens’ rights to bring environmental lawsuits.
- Forcing companies to
clean up their practices. In March 2003, ERF took legal
action against Custom Alloy Scrap Sales, Inc. and
Industrial Turning Processors, Inc. for federal Clean
Water Act violations at their Oakland, CA industrial
facilities. The lawsuit settled with defendants
agreeing to eliminate pollutants in the facilities’
storm water discharges and to revise their Storm Water
Pollution Prevention Plan using specified “Best
- Stopping sewage spills in
Monterey County, CA. In 2003 ERF sued the City of Pacific
Grove, to stem spills of raw sewage from the City’s
sewage collection system that caused beach closures and
exposed surfers and swimmers to high bacteria levels,
toxics and other pollutants. The case settled with
Pacific Grove agreeing to a detailed systematic review of
the condition of its sewer system and timely repair of
defective conditions. The City must also
aggressively clean its sewer lines to prevent grease
buildups and other problems that block lines and cause
sewage spills. In lieu of fines for past spills, the
City will fund a program to replace defective lateral
sewer lines from homes and businesses that are potential
sources of additional sewage spills. The City will
also provide $50,000 to a local environmental group, Save
Our Shores, to fund projects that will benefit Monterey
Bay water quality.
- Maintaining the important
water pollution standards of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). In May 2004, ERF and Our
Children's Earth sued the U.S. EPA for failing to update
water pollution standards. The EPA’s failure to
review and update “effluent guidelines” standards for
the 55 categories of industry that discharge water
pollutants means many industries are not required to
reduce their water pollutant discharges to match the
capabilities of current control technologies.
ERF has developed this public information website to provide
information about products and industrial practices that may
expose you and your family to hazardous chemicals. We hope
this site will help you avoid toxic exposures.
Please help to keep us informed! We
welcome your comments, information and suggestions.
We’d love to hear from you! Send email
design and development by: Yuri Ono and Victor Zuniga www.victorzuniga.com
Management: Norah Zuniga Shaw and Fred Evenson
Lenny Gonzalez www.lennygonzalez.com
thanks to the following people for their generous
contributions to ecorights.org: Julie Francis, Kathy
Glass, John Rogers, Alison Sterling Nichols, and Luis Sonino.