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Santa Rosa firm to pay $135,000 in hazardous waste case

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A Santa Rosa firm agreed this week to pay $135,000 in penalties for allegations it dumped corrosive waste, according to Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch.

CPI International, Inc., which makes environmental standards and testing products, and its former corporate officers David Hejl and Robin Fowler, agreed to the civil penalty that was brought after inspectors observed a paper-like glue substance flowing into the sewer, said Terry Menshek, a spokeswoman for Ravitch.

During inspections in March 2011, Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services and Rincon Valley Fire inspectors discovered the waste runoff. An investigation revealed CPI had not filed a hazardous materials business plan or followed other procedures, as required by law.

Warned to stop the dumping, CPI instead moved its paper-making operation to a residence off Mountain Home Ranch Road in Santa Rosa, according to the DA's office, which then filed a civil environmental enforcement case.

In addition to the financial penalties, part of which goes to state and county coffers, CPI was permanently enjoined from disposing of its hazardous waste into the sewer. It must also have a hazardous material business plan on file and train employees in hazardous materials management.

Hejl agreed to pay $25,000 in penalties and Fowler agreed to pay a $10,000.

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