On November 28, 2018, in the State of California Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Daniel P. Denisiu entered a plea of no contest to one count of illegal transportation and reckless handling and storage of hazardous waste. He was sentenced to 3 years’ probation, 1 day in county jail, 250 hours of community service, and $10,000 in restitution.
On August 26, 2015, Denisiu used his pickup truck to take waste materials from a science laboratory storage room at a high school in the Covina Valley Unified School District to his Pasadena, California, apartment. He did not have a manifest identifying the hazardous materials (hazmat) he collected, properly placard his vehicle, or possess equipment for storing the materials safely. Furthermore, he left the hazmat in the bed of his truck in a residential parking structure while he attended a family event. When he returned home, he placed glass containers with hazmat residue in recycle bins in a nearby neighborhood.
Denisiu admitted depositing 20 small glass bottles and 2 large glass bottles in various recycle bins. The Los Angeles County Fire Department tested the residue in one bottle and identified it as barium hydroxide—a federally regulated hazardous waste material. Tests of materials in the bed of Denisiu’s truck revealed that he had illegally transported the hazmat from the school and stored it in his truck.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, with assistance from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.