Weber Creek Case - $75,000

This page finalized August 1, 2006.


A settlement agreement has been approved by the United States District Court (Eastern District of California) in the Sierra Rock case (People of the State of California ex rel. California Air Resources Board (ARB) v. Loring Brunius, Thelma Burnius, Sierra Rock). The agreement provides that defendants will pay a civil penalty of $75,000 (payable in three installments over a two-year period) and will implement a number of work practices to minimize fugitive dust emissions from their quarry operations. The $75,000 penalty will be split equally by the ARB and the U.S. EPA.
In this lawsuit, ARB and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) cooperated in an enforcement action against Sierra Rock, a business owned and operated by Loring and Thelma Brunius. The business operates Weber Creek Quarry, an open-pit serpentine quarry located in rural El Dorado County. Asbestos occurs naturally in the underlying serpentine rock. Quarry activities generate significant quantities of dust, which is of particular concern because the dust contains asbestos, and the dust is frequently blown off the site into surrounding areas. Sierra Rock is required to control these fugitive dust emissions by various federal, state and local air pollution laws and regulations. The ARB and the U.S. EPA alleged that the quarry had consistently failed to follow the applicable legal requirements. The parties reached a settlement shortly before the case was scheduled to go to trial, and the Court approved the settlement by signing a "Stipulation and Order of Judgment." The ARB staff is particularly pleased that this Court Order requires Sierra Rock to undertake a variety of actions to minimize dust emissions in the future. The Court will retain jurisdiction over this case and the ARB and the U.S. EPA can return to the Court for relief if Sierra Rock fails to comply with the terms of the Court Order.

Case Settlements