A Richmond metal plating company located near homes on Nevin Avenue is facing 23 charges for allegedly storing hazardous chemicals in a manner that posed an unreasonable risk of fire, explosion or toxic chemical release, according to the state Department of Toxic Substances Control.
Electro-Forming, Co. and its owner Marion Patigler have been charged with 11 felonies and 12 misdemeanors alleging the illegal disposal, storage, treatment and transportation of hazardous waste over a two-year period beginning March 2011.
Contra Costa County prosecutors filed the charges Thursday following the state’s investigation.
After receiving a tip in March of last year, state investigators searched the site at 130 Nevin Ave. and found, among other violations, cyanide near acid, which could combine to form a deadly gas, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Cyanide was among the chemicals stored illegally in a 6,900-gallon tank at the Nevin Avene facility, according to the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office.
Illegally treated and stored waste was also found in various unlabeled drums, containers and a strip tank, according to the criminal complaint. The complaint additionally claims the company’s mishandling of waste caused the toxic substance to “accumulate underneath the floor in the plating area.”
“These practices also created an unreasonable risk of fire, explosion, serious injury or death in the tank,” DTSC said.
Attempts to contact Patigler were not immediately successful.
Criminal proceedings could take years due to the amount of evidence involved in the case, prosecutors said.
You can read the criminal complaint here.