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Six Flags Magic Mountain accused of polluting river

VALENCIA - August 24: Lois Eldridge (L) and her twin sister Linda White brave Deja Vu during the media preview of the new rollercoaster ride August 24, 2001 at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA.
Credit: Peter Brandt

Southern California theme park Six Flags Magic Mountain is accused of letting its trash and contaminated water discharge into the Santa Clara River, the Los Angeles Times reported. Three environmental groups--Santa Monica Baykeeper, Wishtoyo Foundation and Friends of the Santa Clara River--sent a letter to the theme park last week, saying that tests of the local river showed elevated levels of metals, toxins, bacteria and other pollutants. Local community members have also complained about trash and pollution in the waterway. 

The groups warned that they will file a lawsuit within 60 days if Magic Mountain doesn't reduce pollution entering the Santa Clara River, the Associated Press reported. The river flows 45 miles downstream from the park and then reaches the ocean in Ventura County. 

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The theme park isn't the only business accused of polluting the river. In a press release last year, The Wishtoyo Foundation said it found that nine auto dismantling companies and a scrap metal company were discharging toxic concentrations of heavy metals into the Santa Clara River.

But the LA Times found that Six Flags already has a weak environmental record. The theme park has paid more than $1 million in fines over the last decade for releasing polluted runoff and has reported discharging water with excessive levels of pollutants more than 400 times since 1995, according to the LA Times. 

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