NEWS RELEASE

From: Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney

CONTACT PERSON: 
Kenneth Rosenblatt, Deputy District Attorney
(408) 792-2572   For release on November 5, 2004     LOCAL BUSINESSMAN SENTENCED TO TEN DAYS IN JAIL FOR ILLEGAL DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS WASTE   Brent Lee, the owner of Vacuum Plating Technology, Inc., has been sentenced to ten days in county jail for illegally disposing of hazardous waste. Lee received a federal grant to develop a plating process which would be less polluting than traditional methods. When he closed his plating business in 2001, he failed to hire a hazardous waste hauler to properly dispose of gallons of hazardous industrial chemicals, including highly concentrated nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, and sulfuric acid. Instead he hired a work crew which disposed of about 60 gallons of nickel plating solution and waste oil in a dumpster and left the industrial chemicals piled up in the parking lot to his business.   Lee was forced to spend thousands of dollars to clean up the facility. In addition to the ten-day county jail sentence, Lee must pay $3,000 in fines and penalty assessments.   This case was investigated by the County Department of Environmental Health, Hazardous Materials Compliance Division and the San Jose Fire Department. The Environmental Protection Unit of the District Attorney's Office prosecuted the case.    # # #

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