The Attorney General's Office has filed a complaint against Gallo Glass Company in Modesto for what they call hazardous practices. The company is under fire for how they manufacture wine bottles used by companies throughout the state. The wine bottling company has fired back claiming this suit is a legal issue and not a health one.
Gallo Glass company, a facility which prides itself for what they call ‘environmentally sustainable’ practices is now under fire from the Department of Toxic Substances Control for allegedly producing toxic dust. "If it’s not managed properly there could be impacts on people in the environment,” Tamma Adamek, a Spokeswoman with the Department of Toxic Substances Control told FOX40 on Tuesday.
In a complaint against Gallo, the Attorney General's office claimed the company made their wine bottles which allegedly produce toxic dust containing arsenic, lead, cadmium and selenium. They claimed the company violated state law from 2006 - through 2011 with the exception of 2010. A practice Gallo argued they've stopped doing for about a year.
“As we understand it, they stopped the practice of putting this dust back into the mix that’s turned into the bottles… but our complaint is bigger than that,” Adamek explained.
FOX40 reached out to Gallo, they told us in a statement that this issue holds no merit and added, “To suggest that this is a safety concern is irresponsible and risks the entire California wine industry as hundreds of wineries purchase bottles from Gallo Glass.”
"The complaint cites them for multiple counts of not properly handling hazardous waste,” Adamek said.
State officials recognized they haven't found any evidence of any illness or death related to Gallo's dust but added they're concerned that the company hasn't trained workers properly, and how the waste could harm nearby residents like Richard Garcia who has a young child.
"If it’s harmful and it could be prevented then they should definitely do something about it,” Garcia, a Modesto resident who lives across from the facility said.
Gallo contended that, "For more than five years we have been trying to resolve this matter but the State of California has refused."
State officials told us that Gallo could be facing a $25,000 a day, per violation fine. Gallo representatives said they're ready for their first day in court.