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Orange County Digest

Westminster : Company Faces Fines for Dumping Chemicals

November 02, 1987

A manufacturing firm may face $25,000 in state fines and an additional amount in local fines, as well as cleanup costs, for releasing an estimated 400 to 500 gallons of toxic chemicals that washed into a city street during heavy rain, authorities said Sunday.

Fire officials, acting on an anonymous telephone call, discovered employees at C.E.M. West Inc., at 15121 Goldenwest Circle, releasing the toxic liquid from a 750-gallon tank Saturday shortly before 8 a.m., said Fire Department Battalion Chief Don Herr.

"It was intentional dumping," Herr said.

Company officials could not be reached for comment.

The liquids--identified as chromic acid, barium nitrate and ammonium silico fluoride--washed off the company grounds onto a street and down into a flood control channel before firefighters arrived and turned off the spigot, Herr said. The chemicals are poisonous if ingested, officials said.

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