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Calif. Plant Cited For 'Preventable' Heaths Of 2

Community Recycling and Resource Recovery in Lamont will have to pay more than $166,000 after two brothers died from inhaling fumes.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — State workplace regulators have issued citations totaling more than $166,000 against a composting facility near Bakersfield where two brothers died from inhaling fumes while they worked.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health — known as Cal/OSHA — issued 16 citations against Community Recycling and Resource Recovery in Lamont. Sixteen-year-old Armando Ramirez and 22-year-old Eladio Ramirez died there in October after inhaling hydrogen sulfide gas while cleaning an underground storm drain system.

In a statement released Wednesday, Cal/OSHA called the deaths "completely preventable," saying the gas is a common by-product of composting, and the company failed to have proper procedures in place. The statement says neither brother was properly trained or given adequate protection.

Kern County officials revoked the company's permit and shut down the facility in November.

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