Nov 9, 2015
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A crew with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) began removing hazardous waste from an Iron Triangle metal-plating operation last weekend after the business’ owner was jailed for failing to remove the chemicals herself, according to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

We’ve reported a number of stories about the violations discovered at Electro-Forming Co. at 130 Nevin Ave. A tip  sparked an investigation in 2012, and led to nearly a dozen felony charges in March of last year.

The company’s owner, Marion Patigler, was busted after state investigators searched her business and found cyanide stored near acid, which could combine to form a deadly gas, and other examples of illegal handling and disposal of hazardous waste, DTSC said. She was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to close her business and clean up the site.

Barrel.11-9Patigler got into more trouble, however, after follow up investigations showed she failed to comply with the court order to remove the hazardous waste, DTSC said. As a result, Patigler was given a three-year jail sentence for violating the terms of her probation. She surrendered herself to county jail on Saturday, authorities said.

As soon as she was behind bars, DTSC began cleaning up the hazardous waste from the site. Its emergency response unit secured waste including cyanide, nitric acid, hydrochloric acid and plating solutions containing copper and hexavalent chromium. The chemicals will be transported to a licensed disposal site, leaving only the machinery in the Iron Triangle building behind.

Location of the metal plating company.

“DTSC has used the full range of its enforcement resources to stop Ms. Patigler’s reckless behavior and protect the community,” Reed Sato, chief counsel for the DTSC, said in a statement. “We value the partnership with the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office that brought Ms. Patigler to justice and held her personally accountable for her continual mismanagement of hazardous wastes.”

The photos in this story, showing what was found inside the property at 130 Nevin Ave., were courtesy of DTSC.


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About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.