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West Valley recycling company, manager charged in oil spill

WEST VALLEY CITY — A West Valley recycling company faces criminal charges for allegedly polluting the environment.

West Valley Recyclers LLC, 2220 S. 5650 West, was charged in 3rd District Court Friday, along with Jose Juan Martinez, for violating the Water Quality Act, a third-degree felony, and violation of scrap metal dealer requirements, a class C misdemeanor. Martinez is listed as a manager of the company in court documents.

Martinez claimed to have a bill of sale for three transformers at 976 S. Pioneer Road (2700 West), according to charging documents. He allegedly used a forklift to load the transformers onto a truck that had the "West Valley Recyclers" logo on it.

Martinez later told police that one of the transformers "fell over" while he was loading it.

A Salt Lake police officer observed a "large amount of oil spilled on the ground" where the transformers were previously located on the property, the charges state. The officer noted that it appeared "that the oil was still draining from the transformers as they were driven away."

Police were able to follow a trail of oil from Pioneer Road to California Avenue to I-215, according to the charges. Near 2501 W. Director's Row (1100 South), a member of the Salt Lake County Health Department observed about 100 gallons of oil that was allowed to leak onto the road and into the drainage system when the truck stopped, and an additional 25 gallons of oil near 2350 West during a second stop, according to charging documents.

The owner of the property at 976 S. Pioneer Road told police he had not authorized the sale of the transformers. Martinez told police that he did not obtain a valid ID from the man he purchased the transformers from and did not have any additional information about him.

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