Department of Justice seal U.S. Department of Justice

Debra Wong Yang
United States Attorney
Central District of California


United States Courthouse
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
Release No. 06-037

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2006
For Information, Contact Public Affairs
Thom Mrozek (213) 894-6947

FORMER OWNER OF SAN PEDRO BOAT WORKS SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR VIOLATING FEDERAL HAZARDOUS WASTE LAWS


Los Angeles, CA - The former owner and an operator of a now-defunct boatyard was sentenced today to one year in federal prison for violating federal environmental laws by illegally storing hazardous wastes. The owner's son was also sentenced for discharging raw sewage into the ocean.

Andrew Wall Jr., 60, of Kihei, Maui, was sentenced this afternoon by United States District Judge Dickran Tevrizian Jr. in Los Angeles federal court. In addition to the prison term, Judge Tevrizian ordered Andrew Wall to pay a $5,000 fine and $490,000 in restitution.

Andrew Wall was the president, owner and operator of San Pedro Boat Works (SPBW). He pleaded guilty in August 2004 to one felony count of unlawfully storing drums of flammable and toxic hazardous wastes at Berths 44 and 57 in the San Pedro area of the Los Angeles Harbor.

Andrew Wall's son, John Wall, a 35-year-old resident of San Pedro, pleaded guilty in August 2004 to one misdemeanor count of unlawfully discharging untreated and partially treated sewage into the waters of Los Angeles Harbor. John Wall, who was the yard superintendent at SPBW, today was sentenced to three years of probation, which will include six months in a community corrections center and a $2,500 fine.

At the time of the criminal violations, which occurred in the second half of 2002, SPBW was engaged in the repair and servicing of commercial, military and private vessels and water craft. While performing services, SPBW employees used hazardous substances –including paint thinners, cleaning solvents, petroleum naphtha, hydraulic oil and kerosene – which generated wastes.

Inspectors from the Port of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Fire Department conducted inspections of SPBW in 2003 and found numerous drums of hazardous wastes on the premises. Additionally, at Berth 44, inspectors discovered a discharge pipe under the wharf that was connected to an on-site septic tank that collected wastewaters from the company's restrooms. John Wall used the pipe the unlawfully discharge the sewage into the harbor.

SPBW filed for bankruptcy in December 2002, soon after ceasing operations at the site. The Port of Los Angeles, which leased the berths to SPBW, spent approximately $490,000 to clean up the site. Andrew Wall was ordered to pay the restitution to the City of Los Angeles Harbor Department to reimburse it for cleaning up and properly removing the wastes generated by SPBW.

This case was investigated by members of the Los Angeles Federal Environmental Task Force, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Health Hazardous Materials Division; the Port of Los Angeles; and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

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Release No. 06-037

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