David Tomkins, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON: 
Kenneth Rosenblatt, Deputy District Attorney
(408) 792-2572   For release on August 25, 2006     HAMMON PLATING PAYS $125,000 FINE FOR WATER POLLUTION AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS   Santa Clara County District Attorney George Kennedy today announced that his office settled a civil lawsuit against Hammon Plating involving various environmental regulations. The complaint filed by his office, and subsequently joined by the City of Palo Alto, alleges that for several years Hammon Plating discharged excess amounts of heavy metals into the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant, the wastewater treatment facility which prevents impurities from local businesses from reaching San Francisco Bay. The complaint also alleges that Palo Alto Fire Department inspectors found additional violations of environmental regulations during an inspection of Hammon Plating.   Subsequently, the complaint was amended to add allegations that a fire at Hammon Plating’s facility on October 1, 2005, was the result of the company’s failure to equip an immersion heater with a working shut-off control as required by the California Fire Code.    Hammon Plating admitted a negligent disposal of heavy metals into the sewer in violation of Health and Safety Code section 25189.2(c) and three violations of Business and Professions Code section 17200 which prohibits unlawful business practices.    Pursuant to the negotiated settlement, Hammon Plating will pay civil penalties and investigative costs in the amount of approximately $125,000 to the County of Santa Clara, the State of California, and the City of Palo Alto. The Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant and the Palo Alto Fire Department investigated this case, which was prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office Environmental Protection Unit.     # # #  

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