The Ojai Quarry is a 30-acre rock mine located on the banks of the Lower North Fork Matilija Creek, a major tributary of the Ventura River renowned for its pristine, free-flowing waters and excellent habitat for wildlife, including the endangered southern steelhead trout. Through our water quality monitoring efforts in the Ventura River watershed, Channelkeeper identified the Ojai Quarry as a significant source of stormwater pollution and aquatic habitat degradation.
Channelkeeper lobbied the Quarry owner and various government agencies to clean up the facility, but the pollution continued, so we teamed up with the Environmental Defense Center in 2012 to file a lawsuit against the Ojai Quarry for violations of the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.
We successfully negotiated a settlement agreement with the Ojai Quarry, which was memorialized in a court-enforceable Consent Decree in 2014. The settlement agreement required the Quarry to implement a suite of best management practices to reduce polluted runoff from the facility and prevent blockages to fish migration in North Fork Matilija Creek, thereby improving water quality and habitat for endangered steelhead trout and other wildlife in this otherwise pristine creek in the upper Ventura River watershed.