Manager Pleads Guilty, Faces Jail Time in Chemical Blast at Ventura County Waste Facility

Several people were injured in an explosion at Santa Clara Waste Water Co., in Santa Paula, on Nov. 18, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Several people were injured in an explosion at Santa Clara Waste Water Co., in Santa Paula, on Nov. 18, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

A former human resources manager at a Ventura County waste company has pleaded guilty in connection with an explosion and fire at the firm’s facility five years ago.

The Ventura County Star reports Marlene Faltemier entered guilty pleas Friday to multiple charges including conspiracy, interfering with law enforcement, and failing to update hazardous materials inventory. She faces more than 5 years in jail.

The 54-year-old was one of several officials of Santa Clara Waste Water Co. to face criminal charges stemming from the 2014 explosion at the wastewater facility. Three Santa Paula firefighters were injured fighting the stubborn blaze.

The blast was caused by sodium chlorite reacting with other chemicals after being sucked up into a truck’s tank.

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