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Halaco Faces Restrictions for Violating Probation

September 04, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

An Oxnard metal recycler found guilty last year of polluting the air near its shoreline plant has admitted to violating probation and will now be subject to severe operating restrictions, the Ventura County district attorney's office announced Friday.

Halaco Engineering Co. was placed on probation in August 2003 after a jury found the company guilty of three misdemeanor violations stemming from the release of noxious fumes at its Ormond Beach operation. The company recycles aluminum and magnesium scrap.

The verdicts marked the first time that a Ventura County corporation had been convicted of criminal charges of fouling the air.

Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Mitchell Disney said Friday that Halaco violated probation by failing recent tests to ensure emissions were in compliance with its air-quality permit.

As a result, the company will now be subject to new restrictions, including random air testing.

The company, which has had a series of environmental problems during nearly 40 years of operation, also will be required to limit its smelting operation to business hours Monday through Friday.

"It's a much tighter leash for the company," Disney said.

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