March 15, 2002

Fight Moves From the Streets of Barrio Logan Into the Courtroom

Barrio Logan — In a bold move aimed at keeping Barrio Logan safe and healthy, Supervisor Greg Cox announced that the County of San Diego is moving forward in seeking a Temporary Restraining Order to close Master Plating, a chrome plating shop that the community claims has been polluting the Barrio Logan environment. Additionally, District Attorney Paul Pfingst has opened an investigation of Master Plating.

Today's action is a result of a thorough inspection by the County's Department of Environmental Health Hazardous Materials Division, who found Master Plating in violation of a number of environmental regulations regarding the oper-ation's storage, handling and disposal of hazardous waste.

"When they were suspected of polluting the air, I asked the County Department of Environmental Health Hazardous Materials Division to go in and thoroughly inspect Master Plating," said Supervisor Cox, who represents the Barrio Logan community on the County Board of Supervisors. "I will not allow Master Plating to continue to operate as a bad neighbor to this community and a bad citizen of Barrio Logan. The operation must make significant changes to comply with environmental regulations and they must do so immediately."

Master Plating has been convicted and cited by the County for a number of hazardous waste violations in the past seven years. County officials describe the operation as a "chronic violator" of regulations dealing with hazardous waste inside the shop. "We are moving forward with an investigation of Master Plating," said District Attorney Paul Pfingst. "This is not the first time that this operation has been investigated by the District Attorney's office."

In addition to the hazardous waste violations, Supervisor Cox announced that preliminary data analyzed by the County's Air Pollution Control District and the State Air Resources Board point toward Master Plating as the cause of increased levels of airborne hexavalent chromium, a potential toxin, in the area immediately surrounding the plating shop. Although the airborne pollutant presents a potential danger to area residents, the County's Department of Environmental Health reports that the hazardous waste violations by Master Plating do not cause any increased health risk to any neighbors or the community because the violations occurred inside the plating shop.

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