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Stringfellow Acid Pits, USA

Labelled as the largest civil lawsuit in the nation’s history, pitting neighbours of the toxic site sued the companies that dumped there and the government agencies that allowed it


The Stringfellow Superfund Site is located in the city of Jurupa Valley, California.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Stringfellow Acid Pits, USA
Country:United States of America
State or province:California
Location of conflict:Glen Avon
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific commodities:Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Since the Glen Avon lawsuits were filed, more than $50 million has been awarded to the 3,800 plaintiffs through out-of-court settlements involving General Electric, aluminum manufacturer Alumax Inc., quarry owner James B. Stringfellow Jr., and others. [5]

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Project area:6.9
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:4,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/1957
Company names or state enterprises:McDonnell Douglas Corp from United States of America - PRP
Montrose Chemical Corp from United States of America - PRP
General Electric Company (GEC) from United States of America
Northrop Grumman from United States of America - PRP
Rockwell International from United States of America - PRP
Relevant government actors:Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), State of California
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, Concerned Neighbors in Action (CNA), Parents of Jurupa, Communities Against Toxic Wastes in Landfills
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local government/political parties
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:Court cases were won in favour of the community where companies responsible for dumping the waste were made to pay millions of dollars through numerous settlements. The wrongs were not made right physically, but there was monetary compensation for damages.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Stringfellow Consent Decree 12-09-03 [6]
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Settlements Reached on Toxic Dump in California - NY Times Dec 24, 1991 [2]
[click to view]

State to Pay $114.5 Million for Cleanup of Toxic Dumps

Pollution: The agreement involving the Stringfellow and Casmalia sites ends legal battle. -- LA Times May 1, 2001 [4]
[click to view]

A Tainted Legacy : Toxic Dump Site in Riverside County Has Sparked the Nation's Largest Civil Suit- LA Times Jan 10, 1993 [5]
[click to view]

Toxic Waste Suit Settled for $18 Million : Environment: Glen Avon residents will receive payments for the dumping at Stringfellow Acid Pits. Agreement with aluminum firm is largest settlement yet in long battle.- LA Times June 4, 1991 [1]
[click to view]

Insurers Found Liable in Stringfellow Cleanup- LA Times May 17, 2005 [3]
[click to view]

Radical Housewife Activism: Subverting the Toxic Public/Private Binary by Emma Merchant 2014 [8]
[click to view]

What Makes for Environmental Justice? Reconsidering Cases Written Out of the Narrative [7]

Brinda Sarathy Pitzer College, Claremont, CA Dec 3, 2011
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Passive Sampling Pilot Study Report: Stringfellow Hazardous Waste Site July 2009
[click to view]

Environmental Toxic/Tort: Newman v. Stringfellow
[click to view]

State’s $60 Million Stringfellow Acid Pits Win in High Court Could Cost Insurers Billions- August 2012
[click to view]

Other documents

Stringfellow Update May 2011 DTSC
[click to view]

Other comments:This is a Superfund site. More information about Superfund sites is available at
Meta information
Contributor:Bernadette Grafton and Paul Mohai, [email protected] and [email protected], University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment
Last update07/05/2015
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