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SoCal Edison agrees to pay $3.5 mil for environmental damages at Mission Canyon

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Posted at 12:30 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 15:30:45-05

Southern California Edison has agreed to pay $3.5 million for causing several environmental violations in Mission Canyon, an unincorporated suburb of Santa Barbara.

District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced the settlement Monday.

She says the criminal violations stem from a 2019 grading project that caused significant environmental harm to the Mission Canyon area.

From Dec. 4 to Dec. 16, crews worked to widen 1.6 miles of Spyglass Ridge Road, starting at the Inspiration Point Trailhead.

The project required large equipment which generated a substantial amount of rock, sediment and debris.

Southern California Edison discharged about 965,000 gallons of that debris over the edge of Spyglass Ridge Road to Mission Canyon.

About 74,000 gallons of that was discharged into government waters and more than 521,000 gallons into state waters.

All that debris altered the stream bed and obstructed water flow, impacting the natural environment.

The electricity company also removed some native trees and vegetation, degrading the habitat for some fish, wildlife and rare plants.

Since the incident, SCE has done extensive work to improve the safety and stability of the area.

SCE plead to a misdemeanor violation for discharging a pollutant into Mission Creek.

The company will pay a $3.5 million in civil penalty, with $875,000 going to supplemental environmental projects.

The rest of the money will go to the County of Santa Barbara.