Bribery, fraud and wildfire: How a PG&E contractor with a sketchy past made millions

By Scott Morris, Bay City News Foundation : sfexaminer– excerpt

Utility hired a company with a history of illicit dumping to clean up after the Camp Fire

It was a last-ditch effort to save a scofflaw business. For years, the owners of Bay Area Concrete Recycling had run an unlicensed dump in the city of Hayward, California. Neighbors complained about dust blowing off a massive pile of crushed concrete. A city water pollution expert warned the runoff could be polluting San Francisco Bay. City planners had fined the company nearly $60,000 and ordered it shut down.

The company appealed in hopes of winning a permit to operate. But at a city Planning Commission meeting in November 2018, commissioners were unmoved.

“At the end of the day, this is really an illegal business that’s asking to continue operating,” Commissioner Gary Patton said at the meeting, “and it’s been illegal since 2013.”…

Within weeks of Bay Area Concrete losing its battle before the Hayward Planning Commission, PG&E had hired the company to build and run a dump outside of Paradise, 180 miles to the north. Trucks began dumping potentially toxic slurry at the disposal site, which did not require environmental review as an emergency project and helped speed cleanup operations…(more)


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