header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather


 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 19
1960 - SCV switches to Direct Dial, All-Number Calling [story]
map


LOS ANGELES – The company that produces the Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water brand pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of illegally storing and transporting hazardous waste created from filtering arsenic out of spring water at its facility in Olancha, California.

CG Roxane, LLC pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful storage of hazardous waste and one count of unlawful transportation of hazardous material. In a plea agreement recently filed in United States District Court, CG Roxane agreed to pay a criminal fine of $5 million.

According to court documents, CG Roxane obtained water for the Crystal Geyser brand by drawing groundwater from the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains that contained naturally occurring arsenic. The company used sand filters to reduce the concentration of arsenic so the water would meet federal drinking water standards.

To maintain the effectiveness of the sand filters, CG Roxane back-flushed the filters with a sodium hydroxide solution, which generated thousands of gallons of arsenic-contaminated wastewater.

For approximately 15 years, CG Roxane discharged the arsenic-contaminated wastewater into a manmade pond – known as “the Arsenic Pond” – at its Olancha facility along Highway 395.

In March 2013, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board took a sample from the Arsenic Pond and in 2014 informed CG Roxane that the sample had an arsenic concentration that was more than eight times the hazardous waste limit, creating a risk to the area’s groundwater and wildlife.

The water board referred the matter to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, which took its own samples that showed the Arsenic Pond had an arsenic concentration almost five times the federal hazardous waste limit.

Subsequent sampling and testing by CG Roxane and its retained laboratory confirmed a similar arsenic concentration in the Arsenic Pond.

DTSC officials met with CG Roxane representatives in April 2015, presented a list of preliminary violations, and instructed the company to arrange for the removal of the Arsenic Pond.

In May 2015, CG Roxane hired two Los Angeles-area entities to remove the hazardous waste and transport it – which was done without the proper manifest and without identifying the wastewater as a hazardous material, according to court documents. The arsenic-contaminated wastewater was ultimately transported to a Southern California facility that was not authorized to receive or treat hazardous waste. As a result, more than 23,000 gallons of the wastewater from the Arsenic Pond allegedly was discharged into a sewer without appropriate treatment.

CG Roxane pleaded guilty to the two felony offenses before United States District Judge S. James Otero, who scheduled a sentencing hearing for February 24.

The two companies hired to transport and treat the wastewater – United Pumping Services, Inc. and United Storm Water, Inc., both located in the city of Industry – were charged along with CG Roxane in this case in 2018. Both of those companies are scheduled to go on trial on April 21. If convicted, each company would face a statutory maximum fine of $8 million.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation in this case focused on alleged violations involving the handling, storage and transportation of CG Roxane’s wastewater, not the safety or quality of CG Roxane’s Crystal Geyser bottled water.

The investigation in this matter is being conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigations Division and the United States Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General. These federal agencies received assistance from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Dennis Mitchell, Heather C. Gorman and Michael G. Freedman of the Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California also assisted in the investigation.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024
June 24: Needham Ranch Parkway Grand Opening
Join the city of Santa Clarita for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the grand opening of Needham Ranch Parkway on Monday, June 24, at 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024
Post Fire: Red Flag Conditions Continue to Hamper Efforts
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reports that the fast moving Post Fire that broke out in Gorman on Saturday, June 15 around 1:47 p.m. has reached 15,690 acres and is now 24% contained. This latest update was issued at 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024
June 19: Last Chance to Enter SCV Fourth of July Parade Without Late Fee
The Santa Clarita Valley Fourth of July Parade Committee has extended the deadline to enter the parade without a late fee to Wednesday, June 19. The committee is seeking entries from the commumity for the 92nd Annual Santa Clarita Valley Fourth of July Parade.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1960 - SCV switches to Direct Dial, All-Number Calling [story]
map
The ARTree Community Arts Center will host a Botanical Drawing Workshop 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 1 at the center's Studio 2, 22508 6th St., Santa Clarita, CA 91321.
Aug 1: ARTree Botanical Drawing Workshop
Create a superhero identity at the ARTree Summer Superhero Art Camp from July 22- July 26 at ARTree Community Arts Center, ARTree Studio 1 22508 6th St., Santa Clarita, CA 91321.
ARTree Summer Superhero Art Camp
Join the city of Santa Clarita for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the grand opening of Needham Ranch Parkway on Monday, June 24, at 9:30 a.m.
June 24: Needham Ranch Parkway Grand Opening
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reports that the fast moving Post Fire that broke out in Gorman on Saturday, June 15 around 1:47 p.m. has reached 15,690 acres and is now 24% contained. This latest update was issued at 4 p.m.
Post Fire: Red Flag Conditions Continue to Hamper Efforts
The Graffiti Beautification Workday city of Santa Clarita: Volunteer Engagement Program is seeking volunteers for Wednesday July 24 and Wednesday, July 31, 8-11 a.m.
Graffiti Beautification Workday Volunteers Sought
Nick Payne's "Constellations" will run June 27-30, at The MAIN, 24266 Main St., Old Town Newhall, CA 91321.
The MAIN presents ‘Constellations’ by Nick Payne
The Santa Clarita Valley Fourth of July Parade Committee has extended the deadline to enter the parade without a late fee to Wednesday, June 19. The committee is seeking entries from the commumity for the 92nd Annual Santa Clarita Valley Fourth of July Parade.
June 19: Last Chance to Enter SCV Fourth of July Parade Without Late Fee
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency will host a free gardening workshop on Saturday, July 13 9-11 a.m. "Selecting the Perfect Plants for SCV Landscapes" workshop will elevate your landscaping game.
July 13: ‘Select the Perfect Plants’ Workshop
Celebrate the longest day of the year at the Summer Solstice SENSE Block Party, Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. on Main Street in Old Town Newhall.
June 20: Summer Solstice Senses Block Party
The California Department of Foresty and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reports that the fast moving Post Fire that broke out in Gorman on Saturday, June 15 around 1:47 p.m. has reached 15,611 acres and is now 24% contained.
Post Fire 24 Percent Contained CAL FIRE Reports
1945 - PFC Johnny Cordova of Castaic killed in action on Okinawa [story]
Johnny Cordova
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide investigators are responding to a shooting death investigation on the 22900 block of Lyons Avenue, near the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Newhall. The incident was reported on Monday, June 17, at approximately 7:35 p.m.
BREAKING NEWS: LASD Responds to Shooting Death on Lyons Avenue
Manny Herrera has signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his baseball career at The Master's University.
Manny Herrera Signs with TMU Baseball
The Youth Concerto Competition sponsored by the Santa Clarita Symphony Orchestra is open to performers in the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas, and will result in a concert in October by the winning soloist performing live with the SCSO. 
Youth Concerto Competition Deadline Extended
Runners of all ages are invited to support the College of the Canyons cross country and track & field programs by participating in the 49th Annual Cross Country Summer Series sponsored by Fleet Feet on Thursday evenings from July 11 to Aug. 15, 2024.
Registration Now Open for Annual COC Cross Country Summer Series
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is alerting residents and health care providers about a concerning increase in mpox cases, with 10 new cases reported in Los Angeles County in the past two weeks up from an average of less than two cases per week during the preceding several weeks.
Public Health Announces Rise in L.A. County Mpox Cases
Calling all bicyclists, runners, walkers and more! Central Park is about to get a brand-new trail!
Construction Set to Begin for Bouquet Canyon Trail
College of the Canyons will launch its first bachelor’s degree program in January 2025.
COC Launching Bachelor’s Degree Program
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office has released the list of three productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, June 17 - Sunday, June 23.
Three Productions Filming in Santa Clarita
Update: As of 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Post Fire has spread to 15,611 acres, with 20% containment, according to CAL FIRE.
UPDATE: Post Fire Grows to 15,611 Acres, 20% Containment
California State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, is strongly encouraging residents to prepare their households and families for wildfires, as numerous fires burned across Senate District 21 over the weekend.
Wilk Urges Emergency Preparedness as Multiple Fires Burn
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce invites the full community to attend its highly-anticipated Business Expo on Thursday, June 27, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
June 27: SCV Chamber Business Expo
1890 - 18-day murder trial of Castaic's W.C. Chormicle and W.A. Gardner ends in acquittal [story]
William Chormicle
SCVNews.com