T – 02 – 14
Deborah O. Raphael, Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2014
DTSC Enforcement Action Results in $495,000 in Penalties for
Illegal Storage and Treatment of Hazardous Waste
SACRAMENTO – On behalf of the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the California Attorney General’s Office has obtained a default judgment in San Joaquin County Superior Court against former hazardous waste transporter Jose G. Sosa for numerous violations of the Hazardous Waste Control Law. The judgment requires Sosa to pay $243,000 in civil penalties and prohibits him from ever transporting hazardous waste in California.
Drums of hazardous waste were first discovered by a Ripon police officer at the city’s Jimco Truck Stop in April 2010. Upon notification of that discovery, DTSC immediately began efforts to secure the material, and coordinate the appropriate management and disposal of the hazardous waste.
“This case is another example of the efforts of DTSC’s Office of Criminal Investigations to respond to requests for assistance from local law enforcement and to stop the mismanagement of hazardous wastes,” said Reed Sato, DTSC Chief Counsel. “We value our partnership with the Attorney General’s Office to prosecute those who ignore California’s important public health protection laws.”
After conducting an investigation, DTSC’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) issued a Summary of Violations in 2012 and referred the matter to the Attorney General’s Office. The court ruling took place in December 2013. DTSC’s complaint alleged that Sosa negligently or intentionally stored and disposed of 228, 55-gallon drums containing hazardous waste, including aerosol cans containing flammable propellants, used motor oil, and substances containing mercury, in a box trailer at Jimco Truck Stop in Ripon, CA. In addition, Sosa failed to label 69 of those 55-gallon drums. The complaint also alleged that Sosa delivered hazardous waste to a location other than a facility authorized by DTSC to accept hazardous waste.
OCI is a special investigation unit within DTSC consisting of peace officers, scientists, and a computer forensic specialist who investigate criminal misconduct and other serious violations of hazardous waste laws in California. They are the only criminal investigation unit within the California Environmental Protection Agency.
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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit www.dtsc.ca.gov. To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942.
The mission of DTSC is to protect California’s people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances by restoring contaminated properties, enforcing hazardous waste law, reducing hazardous waste generation, and encouraging the manufacture of chemically safer products.