The Humboldt Consequential

Humboldt Baykeeper continues proud tradition of predatory lawsuits, defaming organizations

Wouldn’t you know it, Humboldt Baykeeper settled yet another lawsuit with a local business/agency which resulted in a hefty payout for themselves and their lawyers.

Long story short, Baykeeper saw an opportunity to make some quick cash and alleged that the Humboldt Bay Waste Management Authority was polluting the bay via storm-water runoff from the Hawthorne Trasfer Station. This was immediately after the state body in charge of water pollution oversight, the Water Quality Control Board, had given HWMA the all clear following an inspection.

Now, for successfully convincing HWMA to pay them off to shut them up, Baykeeper has HWMA bent over and greased up for the net few years – Baykeeper gets to make inspections now, too.

It’s part of an unsettling but obvious trend – even the Times-Standard picked up on it:

“This latest settlement comes after Humboldt Baykeeper entered into similar agreements this year with California Redwood Company and the Arcata-based soil company Royal Gold LLC.”

It’s not just Humboldt Baykeeper’s persistent meddling with environmentally compliant businesses that’s irking, either – it’s that they’re used as a puppet by law groups like Aqua Terris Aeris, who make a living by preying on businesses that don’t have the money or the time to fight legal accusations, and end up settling for less crippling amounts. ATA Law Group, for example, raked in $127,000 for intimidating HWMA into a settlement.

THC has also covered some of Baykeeper’s good works before:

Environmental group sues private business; Humboldt County Planning and Building to blame?

Humboldt Baykeeper seeks to ruin yet another local business in appeal to Supervisors; predatory legal action soon to follow?

Deputy County Counsel cancels secret marijuana ordinance meeting following public backlash

If only we’d thought up something brilliant, like a three-assed turkey, so we could have included Jen Kalt in our list of people we’re thankful for. There’s always next year, of course.