The company that produces Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water pleaded guilty on Thursday morning to federal charges for illegally storing and transporting hazardous waste created from filtering arsenic out of spring water. CG Roxane, LLC pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful storage of hazardous waste and one count of unlawful transportation of hazardous material. The company will also pay a $5 million criminal fine. CG Roxane allegedly obtained water from the Sierra Nevada mountains that contained naturally occurring arsenic, filtered it to meet federal standards, and subsequently generated 23,000 gallons of arsenic-contaminated wastewater.
For roughly 15 years, CG Roxane dumped the wastewater into a pond known as “the Arsenic Pond” at its Olancha, California, facility until the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) determined from samples that the water had an arsenic level almost five times the federal hazardous waste limit. CG Roxane was forced to remove the wastewater, but discharged it into a sewer without proper treatment. The probe into the wastewater did not focus on the safety or quality of Crystal Geyser water.