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Thursday, June 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Buried Landfill Fire Leads to Charges

SAN DIEGO (CN) - After an underground methane fire was discovered at a county landfill, federal prosecutors charged a contractor with filing bogus emission reports for five North County landfills, by simply copying old data without doing any real monitoring. Atticus Gee faces up to 27 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

Gee, 33, of Oceanside, is charged with mail fraud, making false statements and tampering with a monitoring method, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Gee worked for a company that contracted with the San Diego County Public Works Department to monitor emissions from closed landfills. Landfills that reach capacity are capped and methane vents are installed to prevent underground fires. The vents must be monitored and the reports sent to the Public Works Department.

Gee is charged with submitting false reports by simply copying old data and resubmitting it. The county investigated after an underground fire was discovered on Sept. 23, 2005 at Palomar Airport Landfill.

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