Argued and Submitted, Pasadena, California June 3, 2015.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. 2:12-cr-00165-PSG2. Philip S. Gutierrez, District Judge, Presiding.
The panel affirmed a conviction for storing and causing the storage of hazardous waste without a permit in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6928(d)(2)(A), in a case in which the defendant argued that the statutory definition of " storage" expressly excludes acts constituting " disposal" of hazardous waste, and that he was guilty of disposal and therefore not of storage.
The panel held that even accepting the defendant's argument based on the technical definitions of " storage" and " disposal," the defendant was clearly engaged in storing hazardous waste in sealed and intact containers left in his former electroplating facility. The panel therefore did not need to resolve the issue whether, if he had been so charged, the defendant could not have been found guilty of both storage and disposal of containers that were leaking.
The panel rejected the defendant's alternative argument that he could not be guilty of storage because he disposed of all of the containers left in the former facility by " abandoning" them in the building in which they were stored. The panel explained that while the defendant may have abandoned the premises in which the containers were stored, the containers were not abandoned, and he is liable as a principal for " causing the storage of waste" under 18 U.S.C. § 2(b).
Lawrence Jay Litman (argued), Los Angeles, California, for Defendant-Appellant.
Stephanie Yonekura, Acting United States Attorney, Robert E. Dugdale, Assistant United States Attorney and Chief, Criminal Division, and Heather C. Gorman (argued) and Dennis Mitchell, Assistant United States Attorneys, Environmental Crimes Section, United States Department of Justice, Los Angeles, California, for Plaintiff-Appellee.
Before: Sidney R. Thomas, Chief Judge, Consuelo M. Callahan, Circuit Judge, and Edward R. Korman, District Judge.[*]
KORMAN, District Judge:
After a bench trial, Robert Roach was convicted of one count of storing and causing the storage of hazardous waste without a permit in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (" RCRA" ), 42 U.S.C. § 6928(d)(2)(A). On this appeal, Roach argues that the statutory definition of " storage" expressly excludes acts constituting " disposal" of hazardous waste, and that he was guilty of disposal and therefore not of storage. Our review of the record persuades us that Roach was guilty of storing hazardous waste and that he was properly convicted of that offense.
1. Roach's Business