LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced his office has filed 19 criminal charges against the owners and operators of a Sun Valley scrap metal recycler for allegedly repeatedly failing to properly store and dispose of hazardous waste, such as diesel fuel, heavy metals, refrigerant gases and asbestos. "My office aggressively enforces our hazardous waste laws to protect public health and our environment," said Feuer. "Businesses that handle potentially dangerous materials have an obligation to dispose of them in a proper, lawful manner. When they allegedly don’t meet that obligation, we’ll fight to hold them accountable."
"This facility is in one of California’s most vulnerable communities. We are creating strategies and looking for additional resources to ensure companies like this meet regulations, and that residents in these areas are protected," said Hansen Pang, chief investigator for Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) Office of Criminal Investigations.
Brian Kassoff, 52, Carlos Almazan, 43, and their business, ANK Metal Recycling, L.P., were each charged with multiple counts of violating the California Health and Safety Code and the Los Angeles Municipal Code If convicted, the defendants could face up to 11 years and six months in jail and $415,000 in fines.
ANK Metal Recycling is a scrap metal facility located at 8832 Brandley Avenue in Sun Valley that recycles scrap metals, e-waste, universal waste and appliances. The City Attorney’s complaint alleges that Kassoff and Almazan, through ANK Metal Recycling, illegally disposed or improperly stored multiple toxic and hazardous substances at the facility in May 2016. Alleged violations include:
Failure to properly dispose of floor sweeping containing cadmium, copper, lead and zinc.
Failure to contain metal dust shavings that had accumulated on the asphalt surface of the yard.
Failure to properly disburse waste oil into the environment.
Failure to properly process appliances which resulted in the accumulation of hazardous metals and the release of Freon and other refrigerant gases.
Failure to properly recycle electronic devices
Failure to retain receipts or invoices for the disposal of materials that require special handling.
Improperly disposing asbestos hazardous waste from air conditioning inside a facility dumpster.
Improperly storing diesel fuel in a 1,000 gallon tank on the property.
Failure to properly label hazardous waste containers.
The charges come as a result of three separate inspections conducted by the DTSC. The case was subsequently referred to Feuer’s Environmental Justice Unit for prosecution. Deputy City Attorney Ella Fernandez is prosecuting the case.