News Release

T – 09 – 14
Deborah O. Raphael, Director

March 24, 2014

Contact: Tim Reese
(916) 323-3396

Criminal Complaint Filed Against Metal Recycling
Facility Owner and Property Owner for Alleged
Hazardous Waste Violations

SACRAMENTO – The Los Angeles City Attorney has filed a criminal complaint against a Sun Valley metal recycler and the facility’s property owner. The criminal enforcement action resulted from a joint investigation by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Health Hazardous Materials Division.

Named in the complaint are Jose Guadalupe Romero, owner of JGR Metal Recycling, Inc., located at 12278 Branford Street, and the property owners, the Istrin Family Trust; the Herman and Gertrude Istrin Family Trust; and Herman Istrin, a trustee for the Istrin Family Trust.

The complaint alleges that the defendants disposed of heavy metals including chromium, lead, cadmium, and zinc at JGR Metal Recycling, Inc., which is not authorized to receive these materials. In addition, the complaint alleges that the defendants failed to minimize the potential release of hazardous waste at the Sun Valley facility; properly train personnel to manage hazardous waste; make proper hazardous waste determinations; and to label and properly manage containers of hazardous waste. The complaint charges 14 misdemeanor counts for violations of the California Health and Safety Code and one misdemeanor count for a violation of the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

“This sends a strong signal to those who violate our hazardous waste laws,” said Brian Johnson, DTSC Deputy Director of the Hazardous Waste Management Program. “DTSC supports the Los Angeles City Attorney’s prosecution of the facility operator as well as the property owner of the site where the alleged violations occurred.”

The collaboration between DTSC and the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Health Hazardous Materials Division is part of a Metal Recycling Enforcement Initiative that DTSC launched in the fall of 2012. The initiative focuses inspection and enforcement activities on metal recycling facilities and the threats they pose to surrounding communities. DTSC has conducted 14 investigations throughout the state since the start of the initiative.

View information about the Los Angeles City Attorney’s criminal complaint filed against Jose G. Romero and Herman Istrin et al.

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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit 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.