Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced criminal charges against five Boyle Heights metal plating businesses, with allegations ranging from improperly disposing of hazardous materials to metal dust contamination outside of the business.
“Families in every Los Angeles neighborhood deserve to be protected from dangerous toxins that threaten their health and safety,” said Feuer, whose office is working with the California Environmental Protection Agency on filing the charges.
The cases were the results by the CalEPA’s Environmental Justice Compliance and Enforcement Working Group to coordinate with local agencies.
Feuer said their office is “intensifying our focus on environmental justice, deepening our partnerships with state and local agencies and committing ourselves to rid underserved communities of pollution that no one should have to tolerate.”
Feuer filed misdemeanor charges against:
—Nature’s Design, at 1318 Velasco St., and business owner Carlos Leong, 72, alleging illegal disposal of hazardous waste, specifically the disposal of a container of potassium cyanide in a trash bin;
—Bronze-Way Plating Corporation, at3532 E. 15th St., and business owner Benyamin Mikhaelfard, 56, alleging illegal hazardous waste storage for over 90 days, and failure to close and label hazardous waste containers;
—Grana Industrial Finishers Inc., at 3524 E. 14th St., and business owner John Grana, 56, alleging metal polishing dust residue were found at multiple sites around the business, failure to submit a hazardous materials and emergency response plan to the fire department and failure to label hazardous waste containers;
—California Electroplating Inc., at 3510 E. Pico Blvd., and business owner John Grana, 56, alleging discharge of hazardous waste, improper storage of hazardous waste that could affect storm water runoff and the presence of metal polishing dust residue outside the company; and
—Chromal Plating, at 1748 Workman St., and company executives and general managers, alleging that corrosive yellow and black oily liquid was found on the inside floors of the business, and metal dust shavings were seen outside near storm water runoff, and no labeling of multiple waste containers.
Each count carries penalties of up to six months in county jail and a $1,000 fine, with the exception of the charge against Nature’s Design. If convicted, the company and Leong face up to a year in county jail and up to $100,000 in fines.
Leong’s company was previously convicted in 2008 of illegal hazardous waste disposal, and was ordered to pay $80,000 in penalties and restitution.
Arraignments are set for Jan. 14 in Department 47 of the Criminal Courts Building.
Further actions are being planned for the Pacoima area, according to Feuer’s office.