T – 04 – 15
Barbara A. Lee, Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2015
Owner of Richmond Metal Plating Company Pleads Guilty to
Criminal Charges, Closes Business
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced today that Marion Patigler, owner of a Richmond metal plating business with a history of alleged hazardous waste violations, has pleaded guilty in Contra Costa County Superior Court to nine misdemeanor charges. On behalf of her business, Electro-Forming, Co., Patigler pleaded guilty to an additional four felony counts.
Patigler also faces three years in jail if she does not immediately close the business, located at 130 Nevin Avenue.
The criminal charges, originally filed in March by the Contra Cost County District Attorney’s Office, include unlawful storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous waste; unpermitted operation of a hazardous waste storage and treatment facility; unregistered transportation of hazardous waste to an unpermitted facility and unlawful handling or storage of hazardous waste causing unreasonable risk of fire, explosion, serious injury or death.
Patigler faces three years in jail if she does not comply with the conditions of her five-year probation. In addition to immediately ceasing operation of her company, those conditions include cleanup of the business including removal of all hazardous materials, waste and equipment; not engaging in any type of business that generates hazardous waste; and completing 200 hours of community service. She was ordered to pay $50,000 in criminal fines, and Electro-Forming, Co., was ordered to pay $250,000 in criminal fines. In addition, Patigler and the company are liable for $228,424.10 in restitution to DTSC.
“Our enforcement partnership with the Contra Costa County District Attorney stopped this toxic menace to the local community,” said Reed Sato, Chief Counsel for DTSC, “DTSC initiates criminal enforcement actions to protect citizens and show toxic violators that there are serious consequences from mishandling hazardous wastes.”
The Feb. 18, 2015, sentencing of Patigler and her agreement to close the facility is the culmination of an investigation begun in 2012 by DTSC’s Office of Criminal Investigations. DTSC worked with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, the Contra Costa County Environmental Health Services Hazardous Materials Unit, Richmond City Fire Department, Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, and the Contra Costa County Central Sanitation District.
“This criminal resolution achieves our goal of holding Marion Patigler and her company Electro-Forming, Co., accountable for their conduct as well as protecting the public and the environment,” said Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson.
The Office of Criminal Investigations 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. It is 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.