Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , Leave a comment on Bill by State Sen. Mike McGuire seeks to make redwood burl poaching a felony

Bill by State Sen. Mike McGuire seeks to make redwood burl poaching a felony

Poachers who target the knobby burls on old-growth redwood trees could face stiffer punishment if they are caught under legislation introduced this week by a North Coast lawmaker.
State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, is proposing to make burl poaching a mandatory felony crime punishable by jail time and a fine of up to $10,000.
“These poachers are butchering healthy, ancient, old-growth redwoods,” said McGuire, who compared the practice to killing elephants for their tusks.
Redwood burls are crucial to the health and propagation of the majestic trees, forming at the base of trunks to shoot forth new saplings and roots. They also protect trees by forming protective layers over damaged wood.
Burls also are used to make a range of products, including tables and other furniture. That has created a lucrative market for the wood and drawn the attention of poachers, who use chainsaws and other devices to carve the prized wood away from the trees, with no regard to the damage the practice causes.
Read more via Bill by State Sen. Mike McGuire seeks to | The Press Democrat.

Posted on Categories WaterTags , Leave a comment on Washing toxin into storm drain results in environmental enforcement

Washing toxin into storm drain results in environmental enforcement

District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that defendant Trius Diagnostic Imaging, Inc. of Stockton has resolved a civil environmental enforcement case that occurred on 10/29/13 at Spring Creek Medical Plaza, located at 1144 Sonoma Avenue in Santa Rosa.The investigation revealed that while a piece of radiology equipment was being moved from one of the medical offices and being loaded onto a truck for transport to Trius’ Stockton facility, Trius employees spilled an unknown liquid.
Rather than report the spill to the authorities, the employees hosed the spilled material into a storm drain leading to Spring Creek. A citizen noticed the spill and contacted the Santa Rosa Police Department. Officers responded, along with the Hazardous Materials Team from the Santa Rosa Fire Department.  Spring Creek Medical Plaza owners used a private company to clean up the spilled material which contained some petroleum.  First responders could not determine the quantity of the spill or whether it entered Spring Creek.
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “Businesses may not use storm drains to dispose of hazardous materials because all storm drains flow to our creeks.  We will take all appropriate enforcement measures to protect our creeks.”
The agreement reached between Trius and the District Attorney’s Office requires that Trius Diagnostics Imaging, Inc. pay a total of $50,661.97 in penalties and clean up costs. Of this amount, Trius will pay a penalty for an unlawful business activity of $7,500, clean-up costs in the amount of $34,818.97 to the business owners of the Spring Creek Medical Plaza and $5,343 in investigation costs to the City of Santa Rosa and the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.  The defendant will pay restitution in the amount of $3,000 to an account that will benefit local watershed projects in Sonoma County.  Additionally the agreement requires that Trius must train its employees annually regarding reporting hazardous materials releases and reporting emergency spills.
The case was prosecuted by the Environmental and Consumer Law Division of the District Attorney’s Office and Deputy District Attorney Ann Gallagher White, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Lisa Chapman.  Detective Mark Azzouni of Santa Rosa Police Department’s Environmental Crimes Unit  headed the investigation.
via Washing Toxin into Storm Drain results in Environmental Enforcement.