Ventura Man Pleads guilt in Santa Clara Waste Water Explosion

Kenneth Douglas Griffin, Jr. (DOB 7/04/95), of Ventura, pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to impede enforcement by a Certified Unified Program Agency official, and felony knowing failure to warn of serious concealed danger.  In addition, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor interference with enforcement and repeated violations of a labor safety standards.

On November 18, 2014, an explosion occurred at Santa Clara Waste Water Company (SCWWC) located at 815 Mission Rock Road in Santa Paula, California.  Griffin was an on-site supervisor at SCWWC at the time of the explosion.  Griffin was involved in moving chemicals from the SCWWC facility to an off-site storage lot to impede enforcement efforts by the Ventura County Environmental Health Department.  Griffin failed to warn employees of a serious concealed danger at the plant, specifically, the presence of a hazardous material known as sodium chlorite.  In addition, he failed to provide sufficient communication regarding chemicals that were mislabeled or entirely unlabeled at the SCWWC site.

Griffin is scheduled to be sentenced on August 9, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 36 of the Ventura Superior Court.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, he faces a maximum of 270 days in local custody.  He also will be ordered to pay victim restitution, and will be prohibited from being employed in any supervisory capacity over employees handling hazardous materials for a period of five years after he is sentenced.

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