Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
John Fioretta, Deputy District Attorney
Environmental Protection Unit
(408) 792-2638   For release on September 24, 2004     ILLEGAL SEWER DISCHARGES RESULT IN FELONY CONVICTIONS   Yesterday a metal finishing business located in Sunnyvale pleaded no contest to five criminal violations of the California Clean Water Act and Sunnyvale Municipal Code.   ARA Automated Finishing was convicted of two felonies and three misdemeanors for illegally discharging pollutants into the sanitary sewer. The Honorable Ronald Lisk, Judge of the Superior Court, sentenced ARA to pay a fine, penalty assessments, and costs of $100,000, and placed ARA on probation for five years.   The metal finishing process uses various chemicals to coat metal.  As a result, waste containing hazardous levels of those chemicals is generated.  ARA discharged wastewater containing chromium, zinc, copper, nickel, and corrosives which violated regulatory limits.   The District Attorney’s Office, the Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant, and the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation, which involved secret sampling of sewer outflow.  The District Attorney’s Environmental Protection Unit prosecuted the case.   # # #

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