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Former Wrecking Yard Owner Arrested on Illegal Disposal Charges

Release Date: 12/22/2004
Contact Information: John Millett
millett.john@epa.gov
202-564-7842


December 22, 2004

Wei Guo Huang, also known as Larry Huang, of Kent, Wash., was arrested by Washington state patrol officers on Dec. 14 on state charges that he improperly disposed of waste petroleum products and crushed automobile batteries, failed to properly store hazardous waste, failed to notify state officials about hazardous waste spills and operated an automobile wrecking yard without a license.

From early 1999 until February 2003, the defendant operated Japanese Auto Wrecking in Kent on land he rented. He was evicted from the property in 2003, and cleanup costs are estimated at $5 million. The charges allege that Huang disposed of waste gasoline by dumping it in a pit or onto the ground and that he left crushed and leaking automotive batteries lying around his property. The alleged disposal sites were within 150 feet of the banks of the Green River, and created a potential river pollution hazard. Gasoline contains benzene which is a known carcinogen, and battery acids can cause burns. Both chemicals can harm fish and aquatic life if the chemicals are washed by rains into surface waters.

The case was investigated by the Washington State Department of Environmental Quality and the Seattle office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by the district attorney’s office for King County, Washington.



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