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ARRESTS MADE IN BORDER TOXICS CASE

 ARRESTS MADE IN BORDER TOXICS CASE
 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- An international


investigation of alleged illegal disposal, storage and transportation of hazardous lead wastes in Southern California and Mexico led to the arrest this morning of two Southern California businessmen. Felony charges against the two were brought as a result of a combined investigation by Cal/EPA's Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Los Angeles County District Attorney.
 "Cal/EPA's strong enforcement of environmental regulations along our Mexican border will continue," said California Secretary for Environmental Protection James M. Strock. "Public safety and environmental protection are urgent concerns on both sides of the border, and we will take forceful action against those who do not comply with the law."
 Arrested were brothers Donald and Ed Huseman of Palos Verdes, who own and operate Keelco Anodes Inc., 327 East B Street, Wilmington. A third individual named in the complaint, Jose Kahn, owner and operator of New Frontier Trading Corp., 3045 Rosecrans, San Diego, plans to surrender to authorities. The investigation began at Keelco, continued through New Frontier and ended in Tijuana, Mexico at Metales y Derivados, a business which is owned and operated by New Frontier and Jose Kahn.
 Keelco manufactures lead keels for boats and lead anodes used in refining copper from ore. The primary wastestream is lead dross generated from the casting process and lead dust produced from grinding and polishing of the keels and anodes. Keelco and the Husemans are charged with unlawfully disposing of lead waste to the ground at the Wilmington site and to Quay Street, adjacent to the business. The investigation revealed that Keelco employees were unnecessarily exposed to friable waste lead grindings and that the waste was stored on site illegally for more than 90 days at a time. A pump found during the execution of a search warrant was used to pump wastewater contaminated with hazardous levels of lead onto Quay Street.
 New Frontier Trading Corp. is a metals brokerage that purchases waste lead from Keelco and other entities and arranges for its transportation to Metales y Derivados, a smelter in Tijuana. Metales supposedly recycles the waste lead and returns pure lead ingot to the original generators in the United States. However, the investigation revealed that New Frontier and Kahn unlawfully transported waste lead to the unpermitted facility in Mexico on at least 26 occasions. Waste lead was stockpiled in large amounts at the Metales location and left exposed to the environment and the people living nearby.
 A 29-count felony complaint was filed in the Los Angeles Municipal Court (Case No. BA062242) on July 31 by the District Attorney's Environmental Crimes Division. Each separate violation carries a maximum sentence of three years in State prison and/or $100,000 per day fine for each day of violation.
 Prolonged exposure to hazardous levels of lead can raise blood-lead levels in humans and result in lead poisoning. California and Mexico environmental and health officials are cooperating to improve pollution control in the border area to protect the public health of populations living in the United States and Mexico. Enforcement of environmental regulation on both sides of the border have been stepped up due to the large number of American-based companies now operating along the border in Mexico.
 For additional information, contact Deputy District Attorney David Eng or Senior Investigators Pete Martinez and Dana Thompson at 213-974-6811.
 -0- 8/4/92
 /CONTACT: Chris Peck of California Environmental Protection Agency, 916-324-9670/ CO: California Environmental Protection Agency ST: California IN: SU:


JL -- SF003 -- 6775 08/04/92 15:52 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 4, 1992
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