The owner of the Leona Heights Sulfur Mine faces a fine for allegedly failing to file reports under a regional water board's cleanup order.
The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Board has proposed fining Dr. Collin Mbanugo $200,000 for allegedly failing to file reports required under a cleanup and abatement order the board issued in 1998.
The water board issued the 1998 order after determining that the mine, in the Oakland hills near the intersection of Interstate 580 and Highway 13, was leaching sulfuric acid and metals into a creek on the property.
The water runs into a storm drain discharging into Aliso Lake on the Mills College campus, and through additional storm drains into San Leandro Bay. In its investigation, the board said the runoff from the mine is a serious threat to water quality downstream.
Mbanugo purchased the sulfur mine in November 2001. The property is zoned for residential development upon completion of the mine's cleanup.
The board's staff said Mbanugo initially complied with the order and has submitted several documents, including corrective actions plans. However, the water board's staff issued three notices of violation to Mbanugo in 2005 and 2006 because of missed deadlines.
The board's staff added that Mbanugo has stopped submitting required reports and has performed no work on the project since early 2007.
A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for the water board's Sept. 10 meeting. The owner can waive his right to the hearing and pay the fine. Meetings of the water board are held in the Elihu M. Harris State Office Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1515 Clay St., Oakland.
Reach Chris Metinko at 510-763-5418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.