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Owner of California Shipping Company Sentenced for Hazardous Materials Violations

On May 23, Peiwen Zhou, the owner of AK Scientific, Inc. (AK), Union City, California, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, San Francisco, to 5 years’ probation, a $40,000 fine, and 200 hours of community service. Half of the 200 hours must relate to hazardous materials education and safety presentations in which Zhou discusses his crimes. In December 2017, he pleaded guilty to illegally transporting hazardous materials and failing to properly declare imports of toxic substances.
 
Zhou admitted he failed to adequately train employees at his company about the requirements of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. As a result, on a number of occasions, AK employees shipped hazardous materials without properly labeling, marking, and identifying the packages. He also admitted that he prevented AK employees from complying with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Specifically, he caused AK employees to fail to file TSCA import certifications when the company imported chemical substances into the United States, including one occasion when a substance was shipped to AK under a different name.
 
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with EPA-CID and FAA.