herrera.JPGSan Francisco’s city attorney filed a lawsuit today against two companies suspected illegally dumping waste in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood over the past five months.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera is seeking maximum civil penalties and damages from New High Protection Roofing Co. and Salvador Trucking Service for allegedly disposing of more than 100 tons of roofing materials and other debris, according a news release.

San Francisco’s Department of Public Works has spent more than $36,000 to remove the waste from public property since September, according to the complaint filed today.

The suit claims that the department has also spent more than $25,000 to investigate and document this illegal dumping.

Hector Santamaria, owner of New High Protection Roofing Co., and Salvador Gonzalez, owner of Salvador Trucking Service, have also been named as defendants in the suit, city attorney spokesman Jack Song said.

The suit alleges that Santamaria and Gonzalez are linked to at least 10 incidents of illegal dumping within the past five months.

The two companies are both located at 1499 Van Dyke St. in the Bayview District. Because of this shared address, the city attorney’s office believes Santamaria and Gonzalez are working together to dispose of the waste, Song said.

Herrera, joined by Supervisor Malia Cohen, whose district includes the neighborhoods, and Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin, announced the lawsuit at news conference this morning.

At this afternoon’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Cohen introduced legislation that would declare illegal dumping a public nuisance and allow San Francisco to recover costs from those who commit illegal dumping, John Lau, a spokesman for Cohen’s office, said.

“This behavior will no longer be tolerated,” Cohen said at the board meeting.

This legislation, which will be voted on in about two months, sharpens the definition of illegal dumping and, if it passes, would facilitate the process of recovering cleanup costs for the Department of Public Works, Lau said.

The city attorney’s office has also issued administrative subpoenas to 10 other companies suspected of illegally dumping material, Song said.

These companies would be forced to provide information to the city regarding their waste disposal, Song said. Information on these companies has not been released.

“I hope our legal action and today’s proposed legislation serve as a warning to the would-be polluters that San Francisco does not tolerate environmental and social injustice,” Herrera said.

Santamaria declined comment on the lawsuit, and Gonzalez could not be reached for comment.

Rachel Purdy, Bay City News

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