Former Santa Clara Waste Water Company Transportation Manager Sentenced

District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that David Joseph Wirsing (DOB 10/15/71), of Ventura, was sentenced to serve seven months in jail and placed on formal probation for three years for his role in causing a 2014 explosion at Santa Clara Waste Water Company (“SCWWC”). Wirsing was the former transportation manager for SCWWC. The case was jointly prosecuted by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office and the California Attorney General’s Office.

On November 18, 2014, an explosion occurred at the SCWWC facility located at 815 Mission Rock Road in Santa Paula. Numerous employees as well as first responders were injured either by the initial explosion or by inhaling a toxic cloud of chlorine gas generated by the illegal disposal of hazardous chemicals that were present on site. In July 2014, Wirsing and other SCWWC employees negotiated a lease for an off-site storage yard located near Palm Avenue in Santa Paula. Wirsing was involved in a criminal conspiracy to impede inspections by Ventura County Environmental Health officials through arranging for the hazardous chemicals to be moved to the off-site storage yard before inspections occurred.

In addition to the jail sentence, Wirsing was ordered to pay victim restitution in an amount to be determined by the Court. Under the terms of his formal grant of probation, Wirsing is prohibited from employment in any capacity involving the transportation of hazardous waste.