A settlement agreement between the county and environmental watchdog group Santa Barbara Channelkeeper over water pollution in Atascadero Creek went into effect this week. Sampling by Channelkeeper had revealed rain runoff from the county’s seven-acre recycling facility on Calle Real was depositing fecal indicator bacteria, sediments, and metals into the creek, where federally endangered steelhead live. The lawsuit was filed late last year and was quickly resolved. Channelkeeper’s Executive Director Kira Redmond said the county was “extremely cooperative” in developing ways to stop polluted runoff and contributed $43,000 toward a habitat restoration project.


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