SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) investigation resulted in the successful prosecution and sentencing of former hazardous waste transporter Roy Paul Gressly for six felony violations of the Hazardous Waste Control Act. DTSC’s Office of Criminal Investigations participated in the joint investigation with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Santa Fe Springs Fire Department. The California Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case against Gressly, who pleaded no contest to the six felony violations. Gressly was sentenced on Jan. 7, 2014, in Los Angeles Superior Court to 120 days in jail and three years probation for two counts of unlawful disposal of hazardous waste, two counts of unlawful storage of hazardous waste and two counts of unlawful transportation of hazardous waste to unauthorized locations. “This type of illegal conduct will be investigated fully and those responsible will be held accountable,” said Reed Sato, DTSC Chief Counsel. “Illegal disposal, storage and transportation of hazardous waste threatens the health of the citizens of this community. I am pleased that we brought this violator to justice.
During his probation, Gressly is prohibited from working in the hazardous waste business. The court also ordered Gressly to pay more than $228,000 in restitution to former customers and landlords who had to clean up illegally stored and abandoned hazardous waste, and to pay a criminal fine of $7,500 plus applicable assessments, surcharges and penalties. Operating under several business names, Gressly was a commercial hazardous waste transporter who accepted hazardous waste from customers for delivery to authorized disposal facilities. Instead of delivering the waste for proper disposal, he stockpiled it at three unauthorized locations in the Los Angeles area and abandoned some of the waste at two of those locations. A spill from a leaking tanker truck prompted the investigation that discovered the violations. Due to Gressly’s illegal activities, his former customers and the owners of properties where Gressly illegally stored and abandoned hazardous waste, had to pay substantial cleanup costs. In addition, public funds were necessary to clean up the waste.
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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances
Every generator of hazardous waste should take note of the fact that it was Mr. Gressly’s customers (ie. the generators of hazardous waste who entrusted him to dispose of it) along with the owners of the property where it was illegally stored that were initially responsible for clean-up costs. They are fortunate that the state was able to recover some money from Mr. Gressly to compensate them for their losses. The generator of a hazardous waste has a Cradle-to-Grave responsibility for its proper management. This responsibility exists under the regulations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for active hazardous waste sites (like this one) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) for abandoned sites.
If you generate a hazardous, part of your cradle-to-grave responsibility is to provide initial training along with an annual review for all facility personnel. Contact me to provide the mandatory RCRA training for your facility personnel.
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