​FROM: Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney  CONTACT PERSON:
Bud Porter, Deputy District Attorney
Environmental Protection Unit (408) 792-2962   For immediate release on July 3, 2002     Hazardous Waste Hidden on Neighbor's Roof   The owner of a Cupertino painting company pleaded guilty in Santa Clara County Superior Court to unlawfully storing hazardous waste in a case prosecuted by the Environmental Protection Unit of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.   Michael Muilenburg, the owner of Ekim Painting, told employees in July 2001 to store the company’s leftover paint on top of a neighbor’s roof in Cupertino. Muilenburg hid the paint waste from county officials who were conducting an inspection of his business. On a tip from a neighbor, inspectors climbed to the roof of a neighboring building and found 100 open containers of leftover paint. Left over oil-based paint is considered hazardous waste because it is ignitable at low temperatures.   Judge Kenneth Barnum sentenced the defendant to 10 days in county jail and imposed $13,500 in fines. The company, which was also convicted, was fined an additional $13,500 and must pay over $3,700 in investigation costs. The case was investigated by Michael Balliet of the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health, and Richard Baker of the Santa Clara County Fire Department.

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