The southern California business owner installed illegal sewer connections at company locations to pump waste
The operator of a San Marcos, California, pumping and portable restroom company has admitted to avoiding up to $4.1 million in disposal fees by illegally dumping waste throughout Southern California.
Arie Eric De Jong III, owner of Diamond Environmental Services, faces possible prison time and fines after pleading guilty in a San Diego federal court to conspiring to unlawfully discharge pollutants with the company's chief operations officer Warren Van Dam.
Van Dam recently pleaded guilty to similar charges, admitting to illegal waste dumping between 2009 and summer 2016.
De Jong and Van Dam say it was regular company practice during that time to dump waste directly into municipal sewers at company facilities in San Diego, San Marcos, Perris, Fullerton and Huntington Park.
De Jong says he told his maintenance employees to buy and install pumps, grinders and settling tanks, which were used to illegally dispose of waste into municipal sewer lines. He says he also hired a contractor to install secret sewer connections at the San Marcos and San Diego locations.
Diamond Environmental Services also confessed that employees hid the illegal sewer connections from inspectors by putting portable toilets over them.
The company is required by law to use a facility in San Diego that charges around $75 per 1,000 gallons. It’s estimated that Diamond should have paid between $1.3 and $4.1 million in disposal fees over the years.
Diamond agreed to pay $4.1 million in restitution to the San Diego Metropolitan Industrial Waste Control Program and the Eastern Municipal Water District.