Operators of Waste Firm Accused Dumping Toxic Chemicals

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- The state has accused the operator of a now-defunct medical-waste firm with dumping hazardous chemicals into Orem's sewer system.

David Ioana Kali, 64, who ran Aseptic Services Inc., was charged in 4th District Court in Provo with dumping the hazardous and highly acidic waste into a drainage system, corroding the concrete in the sewer system.

The waste, which included three times the allowable limit of lead and high levels of zinc, was dumped into the sewer drain for nearly a year, even after Kali was warned that the discharge violated state law, according to the charges.

Orem Public Works Director Bruce Chesnut said Thursday that the damaged concrete has been repaired, and no chemicals reached the city's drinking water or Utah Lake, where the city's waste water goes after being treated.

Kali's attorney, John Walsh of Salt Lake City, produced a letter from a doctor during a court hearing this week saying that his client was in Hawaii and incapable of air travel because of health problems.

Another court date was set for Sept. 3 and the judge instructed Walsh to produce more evidence of his client's health situation, according to attorney general's spokesman Paul Murphy.

Charges allege Kali violated permits and pretreatment standards from March 11, 1999, through Feb. 7, 2000.

Kali received medical waste through contracts with various federal medical entities, including the Veterans Administration facilities in Utah and Idaho, and the Indian Health Service system in Arizona.

The company collected up to 300 boxes of medical waste per month and had 750 boxes stored in a building and adjacent trailer in March 2001. It was not clear when Aseptic went out of business.

Orem officials discovered the dumping after firefighters responded to a fire at the building in March 1999.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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