Supervisor sentenced to six months in jail for role in Santa Paula toxic explosion

VENTURA, Calif. - A Ventura man will spend six months in jail for his part in causing a 2014 explosion at Santa Clara Waste Water Company in Santa Paula.

Kenneth Douglas Griffin, Jr., 22, of Ventura will also be placed on probation for three years after he was sentenced in Ventura County District Court on Thursday.

Griffin was an on-site supervisor at Santa Clara Waste Water Company when the explosion happened. Multiple employees and first responders were injured by the explosion or from toxic gas at the facility.

Griffin was involved in moving chemicals from the facility to an off-site storage lot to avoid enforcement efforts by the Ventura County Environmental Health Division. Griffin also failed to warn employees of the presence of a hazardous material known as sodium chlorite. He also failed to provide sufficient warning regarding chemicals that were mislabeled or entirely unlabeled at the facility.

Griffin will begin his jail sentence on October 13. He will also be forced to pay victim restitution, the amount of which will be determined at a later date.

He is also prohibited from supervising over employees handling hazardous materials while on probation. 

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