T – 22 – 14
Miriam Barcellona Ingenito, Acting Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2014
Richmond Metal Plating Company Shut Down by Court Order
SACRAMENTO – A Contra Costa County Superior Court judge on Wednesday granted a request by the Department of Toxic Substances Control to shut down the hazardous waste generating operations of a Richmond metal plating company with a history of alleged hazardous waste violations.
In March 2014 DTSC obtained a preliminary injunction that required Electro-Forming, Co. and its owners, Marion Patigler, the Estate of Gerhard Patigler, and the Estate of Ingrid Patigler, to stop ongoing violations of hazardous waste laws.
An inspection in August 2014 revealed that the company and its owners were not complying with the preliminary injunction, resulting in an increasing threat of contamination to the neighboring properties and the environment.
The inspection identified numerous hazardous waste violations, including:
- The storage in open containers of fine particulate metal dust which was generated by buffing plated parts.
- The fine particulate metal dust also covered much of the facility and contaminated neighboring properties.
- A 275-gallon drum of acid waste was unaccounted for.
As a result, DTSC obtained court approval to modify the March preliminary injunction and prevent Electro-Forming, Co. and its owners from generating hazardous waste until it removes all hazardous waste from its property, and the removal is verified by a DTSC inspection.
The court’s decision effectively shuts down Electro-Forming, Co.’s plating operations since the activities described below are an essential part of the company’s operations:
- Any metal plating or metal stripping operations that generate plating solutions, filters used for removing metal constituents in plating operations, rinse waters, and drips and splashes;
- Any buffing, polishing, or grinding operations that generate buffing dust.
“Over the past year this company has failed multiple times to comply with the rules that protect the neighborhood surrounding the facility,” said Reed Sato, DTSC Chief Counsel. “This injunction demonstrates DTSC’s commitment to protect vulnerable communities from illegal hazardous waste management activities which materially threaten public health and safety.”
Electro-Forming, Co. and its owners’ latest violations are part of a history of unlawful management of hazardous waste at this facility. In August of 2013, DTSC filed a civil complaint against the company alleging illegal disposal of hazardous waste in the streets and on adjacent property. The civil complaint also alleged the company was unlawfully boiling off liquid plating waste and combining different types of hazardous waste in a tank and storing cyanide drums near acids that, if mixed, could produce a deadly gas. The violations were discovered by DTSC’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) in March 2013 during execution of a search warrant at the Richmond facility.
In March 2014 in a separate action brought by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, ElectroForming, Co. and Marion Patigler were charged with 11 felony counts and 12 misdemeanor counts for mismanagement of hazardous waste, including the unlawful disposal, storage, treatment and transportation of hazardous waste.
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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.