Hefty fine for scrap dealer

Chico Scrap Metals owner convicted of illegal dumping

Years of irresponsible waste disposal have caught up with George W. Scott. Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced Monday (Nov. 24) that Scott, operator of Chico Scrap Metal Inc., had been convicted of “driving truckloads of waste soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead chromium and other hazardous metals” to various sites he owns, including a lot in Oroville where he dumped the waste in windrows and abandoned it.

The site, at Feather River Boulevard and Ophir Road, is about 1,000 yards from the Feather River and is located on highly permeable cobble soils. Ramsey, noting the Oroville area’s “unreasonable level of pancreatic cancer, which can be linked to such chemicals as PCBs,” said Scott’s motive was greed—“to save the costs of disposing of these contaminated soils.”

On Oct. 16, Scott pleaded no contest to two counts of dumping hazardous waste and violating the Labor Code by directing his employees to cut up lead-coated steel beams without adequate safety gear. His business also entered a no-contest plea to 10 counts of health-and-safety violations.

Superior Court Judge Sandra McLean fined him $700,000, of which $500,000 is to be used for cleanup. That’s on top of the $181,000 he’s already spent on cleanup.