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Due to Litigation and Governmental Monitoring, There is Still Combusted Waste at the Former Corning Recycling Facility Four Years Later

“There appears to be no progress, and I can see where people are coming from,” said Rogers.

Comparative analysis of the fire at the former specialist fibres yard in Corning. The left side of the image depicts the fire that broke out in 2018 at the former specialist fibre yard in the Corning area. In July of 2022, the image to the right depicts a site that still contains charred debris.

Rogers stated that Cal Fire determined it was likely arson, but could not exclude spontaneous combustion.

The land was jointly owned by Omega Waste Management and Bucky Lee.

The district attorney discovered sufficient information to initiate criminal and civil charges against both businesses.

“At the same time, the court was hearing both of those instances. We obtained guilty pleas in the criminal portion of our case. “On August 18, 2020, the corporations were sentenced to five years of probation,” added Rogers.

Each corporation was forced to either pay $1,7 million or clean the place.

Cindy Picha, a resident of Tehama County, stated, “We have a railroad track right there, so they could easily put it onto a train track and transport it away.”

Moreover, in the civil matter.

“We were able to obtain a default judgment against Omega Waste, Robert O’ Connor, and Bucky Lee,” stated Rogers.

The district attorney stated that Robert O’ Connor was the owner of both Omega Waste Management and Bucky Lee at the time of the incident and was a party to the lawsuit along with his son Dan.

After Robert died in 2020, his wife, Karen, now owns the business.

News Breaking Now I went to the Omega Waste Management office in Corning to inquire if Karen or Dan intended to clean up the site.

The employees did not wish to speak on camera, but they informed Action News Now that Dan is not permitted in the office area.

Karen responded to us after requesting our contact information from the staff.

The district attorney for Tehama County stated that the county did not delay cleaning the yard, but that it may take longer since the county is waiting to see if a private company will purchase the land and clean it.


Tehama County District Attorney Matt Rogers stated, “Active efforts are being made to put this together, to get this corporation into the land, and to allow them to clean it up so taxpayers don’t have to.”

This private corporation is known as “Pelorus Terminals” and is situated in Texas. In a statement sent to Action News Now, they stated the following:

At this moment, I am unable to give you a specific timeline.

As you may have begun to recognize, there are significant problems surrounding these areas before and as a result of the fire.

Over the past two years, we have worked tirelessly and carefully with surrounding landowners, local officials in Tehama County, state officials in California, and federal officials in the United States on all of these issues.

Our goal is to get everything addressed by the end of the year, but the only lingering issue is with the federal government about a non-land-related matter from before the fire, which is delaying our cleanup work and the transfer of the properties.

Our company would like to thank Commissioner Williams and all of the other local officials from Tehama County, the office of Governor Newsom and the representatives from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, as well as Senator Feinstein’s offices, State Senator Jim Nielsen, and most importantly, Congressman LaMalfa and his staff, for their assistance with these issues.

We are hopeful that this final issue can be resolved so that our company can acquire the properties, proceed with the cleanup by agreements with state and county environmental officials, and bring the properties back into commerce for the benefit of the community and its stakeholders.

Before Pelorus Terminals can purchase the former specialized fibres yard, however, several organizations, including Tehama County, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Internal Revenue Service, must approve the site.

Debbie Matthey, a resident of Corning since 1999, stated, “It feels like quite a while, and I would hope that they would be able to better our neighbourhood and not remind us of what was awful.”

If Pelorus Terminals acquires the property, Omega Waste Management and Bucky Lee, Inc. would not be required to clean the site or pay the $3.4 million fine.

In the criminal proceeding, the corporations would still be required to pay ordinary fees.

Cindy Picha, a resident of Corning, informs me that she will not trust the cleanup will occur unless she witnesses it for herself.

Picha stated, “Although I am a hopeful individual, I am not overly optimistic at this time because nothing has changed.”

Tehama County Environmental Health asserts that the speciality fibre fire did not cause any contamination of the groundwater or soil in the vicinity.

According to environmental health, only solid waste is left.

Even though there was no danger, safety precautions were taken around the yard.

Read more:-

“We acquired a court order to construct berms around the perimeter of the property after the winter of 2018-2019, which was a good winter. We deemed it prudent to construct berms around the property’s ditches to prevent surface water contamination in the event of rain “Director of environmental health for the county, Tim Potanovic, stated.

Essentially, berms are little dams.

This fire had the potential to be a greater catastrophe than it actually was, according to Potanovic.

In addition, Tehama County Public Health never issued a warning regarding the fire.

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