Environmental Protection

Charges Filed Against Leaders of HazWaste Transportation Business

An investigation by California's Department of Toxic Substances Control found Clearwater Environmental Management, Inc. continued to transport hazardous waste after losing its license in 2007.

An investigation by California's Department of Toxic Substances Control has resulted in the arrest of two operators of Clearwater Environmental Management, Inc., a hazardous waste transportation company located in Union City, Calif. DTSC, part of Cal/EPA, reported Kirk Hayward, the former owner of the business, and Charles Seaton, the former vice president, were arrested Feb. 11. Both are charged with four felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses and one felony count of conspiracy.

DTSC had referred its investigation to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley's office.

"Safe management of hazardous waste relies on the accurate tracking of waste shipments," said Reed Sato, DTSC's chief counsel. "Investigating the falsification of transportation documents is a high priority for DTSC, and we are grateful for the partnership with the district attorney in prosecuting these threats to public safety."

According to the department, Clearwater lost its license to transport hazardous waste in 2007 as the result of an investigation by DTSC's Office of Criminal Investigations, but the company kept operating the hazardous waste portion of the business by using the identity of another licensed transporter on official records.

After DTSC discovered Clearwater was using another transporter's identity, its personnel served a search warrant at the facility in July 2011. The agency reports investigators found Clearwater was documenting transports of hazardous waste to an oil recycling facility in Nevada it owned, but many times the waste went elsewhere.

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