News Release

T – 10 – 17
Barbara A. Lee, Director


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2017

Contact: Jorge Moreno
(916) 327-4383

Court Orders Owners of Former Plating Company in Richmond to Pay $5.2
Million for Hazardous Waste Violations

SACRAMENTO – The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) was recently awarded $5.2 million in civil penalties from Marion Patigler and the estates of her parents, Gerhard and Ingrid Patigler, for years of hazardous waste violations.

The judgment took into account the more than $500,000 in enforcement costs incurred by the California Attorney’s General Office and $300,000 in cleanup costs incurred by DTSC. Marion Patigler was also permanently banned from engaging in any future hazardous waste management practices in California.

Marion Patigler was sentenced to three years in jail for her failure to complete the cleanup of hazardous waste left at the facility in Richmond in 2015. For many years Electro-Forming operated as an electroplating and metal polishing company located in a mixed-use residential neighborhood in Richmond.

In 2012, DTSC’s Office of Criminal Investigations initiated an investigation after it received a complaint from a former Electro-Forming employee alleging that Marion Patigler engaged in illegal disposal and treatment of hazardous plating waste. Since then, the enforcement case evolved as follows:

  • In March 2013, a criminal search warrant was executed simultaneously at the plating facility and Marion Patigler’s home in Martinez, CA.
  • In August 2013, the California Attorney General’s Office, on behalf of DTSC, filed a complaint against Electro-Forming, Co., Marion Patigler, and the Estates of Gerhard and Ingrid Patigler for penalties and injunctive relief to address imminent threats to human health and the environment.
  • In November 2013, large quantities of hazardous waste were removed from the facility.
  • In March 2014, Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against Marion Patigler and Electro-Forming for hazardous waste violations.
  • In November 2014, DTSC shut down all plating operations at the facility after finding ongoing hazardous waste violations.
  • In February 2015, Marion Patigler and Electro-Forming pleaded guilty to criminal charges and Marion Patigler received a suspended 3-year sentence, with the understanding that she comply with probation terms that include permanently shutting down all plating operations and cleaning up all the hazardous waste and materials at the facility.
  • In November 2015, Marion Patigler violated her probation and the 3-year jail term was imposed. Marion Patigler served 1 ½ years of her sentence at the Martinez Detention Facility. DTSC’s Emergency Response Unit oversaw the cleanup of the hazardous waste left abandoned at the facility.

DTSC partnered with 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 in the investigation.

More information can be found on our Site Project Documents page.

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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.