News Release

T – 07 – 16
Barbara A. Lee, Director


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2016

Contact: Russ Edmondson
(916) 323-3372
russ.edmondson@dtsc.ca.gov

DTSC Investigation Leads to Criminal Charges Against Scrap Metal
Recycling Facility in Los Angeles County

SACRAMENTO – A Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) investigation has led to the filing of felony complaints by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office against both Panda International Trading Co., Inc. (Panda) and its owner Da Xiong Pan. The complaint
alleges five felony counts for violation of California’s hazardous waste control laws.

Pan pled not guilty to all counts during his arraignment on Friday, May 27, 2016. His next court hearing is set for July 15, 2016.

After obtaining a search warrant in 2013, DTSC’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) collected evidence that indicates the company released toxic levels of metal particulates onto the public sidewalk in front of its facility in Maywood, Los Angeles County.

The criminal complaint filed April 28, 2016, states that Panda and its owner knowingly disposed of, treated and stored hazardous waste (copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, nickel, chromium) at the facility without a permit from DTSC.

Panda is a scrap metal recycler that receives, handles, and stores cathode ray tubes and universal waste, such as old household appliances. Cathode ray tubes contain lead and other metals. Improper handling of these hazardous wastes may result in a release of toxic metals into
the environment.

“This criminal filing is a textbook example of how hazardous waste violations are discovered, investigated and prosecuted,” said Hansen Pang, DTSC’s Chief Investigator for OCI.

In addition to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, DTSC received assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Port Police, Los Angeles Public Works, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Los Angeles County Fire Department Health Hazardous Material Division.

Documents pertaining to this case can be found here.

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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.