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Fined for loose valve Neal Putnam | Sat, Aug 16 2014 12:00 PM

A South Bay man who is the production manager of a Chula Vista tank cleaning company that was fined $50,000 for a toxic spill has been personally fined $5,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Pierson asked for a six-month home detention for Jorge Luquin, but no house arrest or jail time was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Huff last month.

Huff placed Luquin on three years probation without any order for community service. He works for Pacific Tank Cleaning Inc., which Huff fined on May 28 for a toxic spill on National Avenue in 2011 when the firm was located in San Diego.

Pacific Tank Cleaning is a family-owned business which employs 85 people and cleans industrial tanks and pipes, mostly on ships. On March 28, 2011, a valve on a 275-gallon plastic container failed, spilling its contents onto the ground and allowing the contents to run down an alley.

The spill eventually pooled in front of a nearby elementary school. A nearby business reported the spill and the San Diego Fire Department sent out a hazardous response team. The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health Service also responded and closed the affected streets and alley.

A company that insures Pacific Tank Cleaning washed and vacuumed the remaining liquid from the street and alley and properly disposed of it at a cost of $17,000, according to court records.

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