For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Al-Hadithy Nabil, Hazardous Materials Manager, (510) 981-7460

METAL PLATER CHARGED WITH ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS
Monsen Plating Charged with Repeat Environmental Crimes

Berkeley, California (Thursday, October 04, 2007) - The Alameda County District Attorney's (DA) office has reached an agreement with Gary Reopelle, president of Monsen Plating in South Berkeley, for a probation violation stemming from a June 2007 inspection by the City of Berkeley Toxics Management Division (TMD).  

In 2003, the Berkeley TMD received a tip from an employee of Monsen Plating indicating that Reopelle was illegally discharging his plating wastewater into the sewer system.  A subsequent search warrant confirmed the employee's report.  Reopelle was ultimately convicted of four felonies, including illegal transportation and disposal of hazardous waste along with other misdemeanor violations of the storm water and wastewater codes.  He was sentenced to five years probation, fined a penalty of $60,000, and ordered to comply with all environmental regulations as a condition of his probation.  The employee was given a $1,500 reward pursuant to California Health and Safety Code section 25191.7.  

During a routine 2007 inspection, TMD cited Reopelle for 21 violations including hazardous material violations, hazardous waste violations and storm water violations.  Reopelle was charged with probation violations and remanded into custody.  On September 20, he was released after 28 days.  His probation was extended an additional two years and he was ordered to comply with new probation conditions, including that he submit an environmental compliance plan, satisfactory to TMD, that details the steps he will take to correct current violations, and how he will comply with all environmental regulations in the future.

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