A Pre-War company that disposed of chemical and medical waste, California Chemical Solutions was notoriously corrupt. Incorporated in 2032, the company was in business for roughly fourty years before it, like virtually everything else, was destructed in nuclear catastrophe.
Formed by Larry Johnson and Craig Powell, a venture capitalist and a pharmaceutical chemist, California Chemical Solutions became a multi-million dollar business within months of opening its doors. The key to the company's rapid success was the fact that Johnson's brother-in-law was a California state congressman. The company quickly won exclusive contracts with the state thanks to that connection, with the company making large profits and the congressman making a tidy profit on kickbacks.
The backbone of company was their development and use of 'nucleosolv', a patented chemical solution that developed by Powell that, it was claimed, would completely break down any medical, chemical, and nuclear waste in environmentally-friendly fashion, turning it into water. While the solution did indeed work in clinical trials, it failed to work on the large scale.
California Chemical Solutions was involved in two major scandals in the forty years or so it was in business. The first scandal took place in 2240, when accountants representing the state of California began investigating the contracts that the company had been awarded. Cutting through all kinds of red tape and connecting the dots, the investigators eventually uncovered the corruption between the founders of the company and their ally in the state senate. Unfortunately for justice, Johnson and Powell had long since moved on, cashing in on various retirement options and moving overseas, where the long reach of Uncle Sam would not be able to touch them. The corrupt California congressman received only a slap on the wrist thanks to institutional corruption, and served a twelve month sentence at a federal penitentiary, with ten of those months suspended.
The extent of the second scandal that the company was involved in was just starting to be uncovered when the Great War took place. In 2074, while looking for sites to dump illegally dump radioactive waste in California, representatives of the federal government discovered that various prime sites for doing so were already contaminated. Influencing a state investigation, it was discovered that California Chemical Solutions had been illegally dumping the harmful chemical and medical waste they claimed they were disposing of in an "environmentally friendly manner conducive to the health of our great planet." When California Chemical Solutions saw that their nucleosolv failed to decontaminate the waste they were tasked with removing, the company simply buried that waste illegally, depositing it in sites all over northern California, southern Oregon, and eastern Nevada.
The state of California never had an opportunity to prosecute the company, but the fallout from the scandal did cause then-CEO Joan Davis to resign. In the hundreds of years that have passed since, sites in which California Chemical Solutions dumped waste have mutated. Exposed to massive levels of surface radiation, the nucleosolv broke down the waste, but instead of turning it into harmless water, it turned it into crystalline deposits. When dried, the crystalline structure can be chipped to produce smaller grains known as spark.