​FROM:Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney  CONTACT PERSON: 
John Fioretta, Deputy District Attorney
Environmental Protection Unit
(408) 792-2638   For Immediate Release on August 30, 2002     CLEANING COMPANY OWNER SENTENCED IN HAZARDOUS WASTE CASE   On August 29, 2002 David Lai pleaded no contest in Santa Clara County Superior Court to water pollution and illegally disposing of hazardous waste.  Judge Brian Walsh placed Lai on probation for three years and ordered him to pay $13,600 in fines and to serve five days in county jail.  Another $2,800 in fines and 55 days in jail were suspended pending successful completion of probation.   The case involved two incidents in August 2001.  Lai owns We Do Steam Cleaning, a company that steam cleans restaurant kitchen equipment.  Based on tips from the community, the Milpitas Fire Department caught Lai’s workers washing caustic wastewater into a storm drain.  Lai was present and supervising each time. On one of the two occasions the wastewater reached hazardous levels for corrosivity.  Even at non-hazardous levels such discharges are harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms.  Wastewater should never be disposed of in a storm drain. The Environmental Protection Unit of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case.   ###

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