Alabama trucking company fined $3M for illegal hazmat haul
July 1, 2019
An Alabama trucking company will have to pay $3 million after pleading guilty to illegally transporting hazardous materials, according to court documents.
On June 10, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California sentenced Troy, Ala.-based Wiley Sanders Truck Lines to three years of probation and ordered it to pay $1.5 million in fines and an additional $1.5 million community service payment to the Exide Residential Assistance Fund established by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
According to the indictment, Wiley Sanders transported 41,720 pounds of lead-contaminated plastic chips from a battery recycling facility in Vernon, Calif., to a facility in Bakersfield, Calif., in August 2013. The truck used to transport the hazardous load was not equipped to do so.
In November 2013, the trucking company did the same thing. This time, the load weighed in at 45,680 pounds. Wiley Sanders illegally transported the lead-contaminated plastic chips at least once more in March 2014 with a 41,440-pound load. In total, the trucking company illegally hauled nearly 130,000 pounds of hazardous material.
Although Wiley Sanders was registered as a hazardous waste transporter with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the trailers used in this case did not contain any lining or inner packaging material to prevent liquids and semisolids from escaping through cracks and other openings, according to the indictment.
In August 2013, one of Wiley Sanders’ trailers was leaking liquids onto the ground at a weigh station. Since the load was under a hazardous waste manifest, the L.A. County Fire Department Health Hazardous Materials Division was notified. Samples were collected and tested positive as hazardous waste. The same thing happened during the November 2013 shipment.
Wiley Sanders was indicted on January 23 and pleaded guilty to all three counts the same day. The company has 30 days to pay the health department the $1.5 million community service payment. Each count carried a $500,000 fine, which Wiley Sanders has one year for each count to pay.