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CALIFORNIA MAN ILLEGALLY DISCHARGES TOXIC METALS WITH WATER WASTES
Release Date: 02/22/2001
FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2001
CALIFORNIA MAN ILLEGALLY DISCHARGES
TOXIC METALS WITH WATER WASTES
Edward Fixen, who formerly operated an electroplating business in San Luis Obispo, Calif., was found guilty on Feb.14 of seven counts of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) between July 1995 and May 1997. Fixen violated his CWA discharge permit with the company’s release into the San Luis Obispo sewer system of violating acceptable levels of cyanide, nickel and corrosives Furthermore, witnesses at the trial stated that Fixen attempted to conceal his illegal activity by trying to circumvent a monitoring device placed in the sewer by the city. Cyanide and nickel are highly toxic substances which can threaten the health of sewage treatment plant workers and can also damage sewage treatment facilities. When sentenced, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the City of San Luis Obispo Industrial Wastewater Division, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo Regional Environmental Task Force. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.