1. EPA; NOAA SIGN BROWNFIELDS AGREEMENT LAYING GROUNDWORK FOR REVITALIZING AGING PORT CITIES; 2. ASHLAND INC.; SENTENCED FOR REFINERY FIRE IN MINNESOTA AND WILL PAY APPROXIMATELY $13.1 MILLION IN FINES; RESTITUTION AND UPGRADES ; 3. CONTRACTING COMPANY SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL ASBESTOS REMOVAL IN CONNECTICUT; 4. LOUISIANA TRANSPORT COMPANY PLEADS TO ILLEGAL MISSISSIPPI RIVER DUMPING; 5. TWO MARITIME COMPANIES AND SHIP’S ENGINEER PLEAD GUILTY IN WASHINGTON STATE OIL SPILL CASE; 6. NORTH CAROLINA WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT OPERATOR SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL DISCHARGE; 7. CAPE COD MAN SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL DISPOSAL OF MERCURY-CONTAINING WASTE; 8. TENNESSEE METAL TREATING COMPANY AND PRESIDENT SENTENCED
Dave Ryan 202-564-7827 / firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Jan. 14 in New Bedford, Mass., to expedite cleanup of local Brownfields in that city. (A Brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.) The MOU will enhance interagency cooperation and collaboration in support of Brownfields assessment and cleanup, community revitalization and environmental protection efforts. Signing for NOAA was Dr. James Mahoney, Deputy Administrator and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. Signing for EPA, Marianne Lamont Horinko, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, pointed out that the MOU lays the groundwork for EPA’s further collaboration with NOAA and other agencies to provide life to aging port cities across the country. This agreement will serve as a model for coastal communities as they clean up and sustainably redevelop Brownfields. Actions under the agreement may include jointly identifying and implementing actions that link Brownfields assessment and cleanup with coastal habitat restoration and waterfront revitalization planning and implementation. On a national level, President Bush signed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act in January 2002 with broad bipartisan support and has increased spending for Brownfields cleanup by doubling funding to $200 million in his FY03 budgeting. This legislation demonstrates unprecedented recognition of the environmental and economic ramifications of Brownfields and the need to address them. EPA is the lead federal agency for Brownfields with more than 20 other federal agencies supporting the effort. Through the 2002 Brownfields Federal Partnership Action Agenda, these agencies have committed to working together in a timely manner to help communities more effectively prevent, assess, clean up and sustainably reuse Brownfields. More information on general Brownfields issues is at: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields.
Teresa Libera 202-564-7873 / email@example.com
ASHLAND INC., SENTENCED FOR REFINERY FIRE IN MINNESOTA AND WILL PAY APPROXIMATELY $13.1 MILLION IN FINES, RESTITUTION AND UPGRADES
Ashland Inc., of Covington, Ky., sentenced on Dec. 23 to pay $9.1 million in fines and restitution, was convicted on negligent endangerment charges under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and for submitting a false certification to environmental regulators. The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in Minneapolis also ordered Ashland to pay an estimated $4 million for upgrades to sewers, junction boxes and drains at its St. Paul Park Refinery. In its previous plea agreement, the defendant agreed to a deferred prosecution for a violation of the New Source Performance Standards provisions of the CAA. The violations led to an explosion and fire on May 1997 at the St. Paul Park Refinery where one man was severely injured and five others were hurt. The resultant accident was due to Ashland’s failure to properly seal manhole sewer covers used to dispose of flammable hydrocarbons. Some hydrocarbons leaked, became airborne and reached an ignition source. The initial fire was put out, but a second leak of hydrocarbons from a manhole cover ignited and injured members of an emergency response team. The false certification violation occurred after the fire when Ashland told the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in July 1997 that its sewer system was in compliance with the CAA and Ashland failed to reveal that a manhole cover had been unsealed and a fire had resulted. As part of the sentence, Ashland will pay $3.5 million to the severely injured man and pay medical coverage for him and his family for the rest of their lives. The other five injured workers will receive $10,000 each. In addition, Ashland will pay a $1.5 million criminal fine, pay $50,000 in restitution to each of several local fire departments and take out full-page notices in two major Twin Cities newspapers concerning this incident and its resolution. Ashland will also pay $3.9 million to the National Park Foundation for environmental projects in the Minneapolis area. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
CONTRACTING COMPANY SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL
ASBESTOS REMOVAL IN CONNECTICUT
Fred N. Durante, Jr., General Contractor Inc., was sentenced on Dec. 16 in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut in New Haven to serve three years probation and pay $132,300 for cleanup costs and medical costs for employee monitoring. The company unlawfully demolished a building containing asbestos in violation of the Clean Air Act. The violation occurred when Durante Inc., demolished the Woodway Country Club’s old clubhouse in Darien, Conn. Although the building contained 15,000 square feet of asbestos ceiling plaster, the project manager for Durante arranged to have only 8,000 square feet of it lawfully abated. Company workers then demolished the rest of the building, not knowing that unabated asbestos remained. Two workers did not take precautions against asbestos exposure and they will require on-going medical monitoring for which the company will pay. Worker precautions against asbestos exposure are required to prevent workers from inhaling asbestos fibers which is a known cause of lung cancer, a lung disease known as “asbestosis” and mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division with assistance from the Connecticut Department of Public Health and EPA=s National Enforcement Investigations Center. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Haven.
LOUISIANA TRANSPORT COMPANY PLEADS TO ILLEGAL MISSISSIPPI RIVER DUMPING
Sabine Transportation of Cedar Rapids Iowa, filed a plea agreement on Dec. 13 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana for violating the Clean Water Act by dumping wastes into the Mississippi River. Between March 13 and March 19, 1998, Sabine allowed approximately two tons of rust scale, bunker fuel residue and other cargo-hold related debris to be dumped from the S.S. Trinity into the Mississippi River at Violet, La. Sabine was not permitted to discharge wastes into the river. Dumping cargo-hold debris into surface waters can make water unfit for drinking, recreation and the support of fish and wildlife populations. The plea agreement calls for Sabine to pay a $200,000 fine, serve three years probation and develop an environmental compliance program. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Coast Guard. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
TWO MARITIME COMPANIES AND SHIP’S ENGINEER PLEAD
GUILTY IN WASHINGTON STATE OIL SPILL CASE
Unix Line PTE Ltd., a Singapore Corp.; Springs Navigation, S.A., a Panamanian Corp.; and Hyeong-Bin Jeong, Chief Engineer of the M/T Kaede all plead guilty on Dec. 20 to federal crimes arising out of an Oct. 22, 2002 oil spill from the Kaede into Commencement Bay. Springs Navigation and Unix Line jointly own and operate the Kaede. Both corporations pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act for causing the oil spill. Unix also plead guilty to a felony for making false statements to the Coast Guard. Jeong plead guilty to a misdemeanor for the oil spill and he plead to a false statement felony for making false entries in the Kaede’s Oil Record Book. The spill came from oil that had collected in a piping system aboard the ship. When the spill was investigated, it was learned that the Kaede regularly used the piping system to dump waste oil overboard while at sea. These discharges were concealed by false entries in the ship’s Oil Record Book. Discharging oil at sea can harm fish and aquatic life. The plea agreement calls for the companies to pay a collective fine of $750,000, develop and implement a comprehensive environmental management plan and serve four years probation. Jeong faces a maximum potential sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Coast Guard with assistance from the Washington State Department of Ecology. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.
NORTH CAROLINA WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT
OPERATOR SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL DISCHARGE
Danny Hill, owner of Danny Hill and Associates, which operated wastewater treatment facilities in central North Carolina, was sentenced on Dec. 20 to serve five months in prison, five months in home confinement and provide 100 hours of community service by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina in Greensboro. Hill previously plead guilty to violating the Clean Water Act by discharging wastewater exceeding the levels permitted in his discharge permit for Biological Oxygen Demand and Total Suspended Solids into a tributary of Caraway Creek. The discharge, which occurred in January 2001, was from the wastewater treatment plant at the Countryside Communities LLC located in Randolph County, N.C. Exceeding discharge permit levels can harm fish and aquatic life and can make surface waters unfit for drinking and recreation. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Greensboro.
CAPE COD MAN SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL DISPOSAL OF MERCURY-CONTAINING WASTE
Michael A. Raasch of Brewster, Mass., was sentenced on Dec. 17 to serve six months in home confinement as part of three years probation and pay a $10,000 fine for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Raasch was the golf course superintendent at the Chequessett Yacht and Country Club in Wellfleet, Mass. On April 4, 2000, he illegally disposed of a four pound bag of Calo- Gran, a mercury-based fungicide, by dumping it in a deserted location near the sixth fairway. The land on which the fungicide was dumped was owned by the National Park Service. The fungicide contained high concentrations of mercury, a toxic heavy metal, which can be absorbed through contact with the skin and which can cause severe neurological damage and death. Sentencing was handed down by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the National Park Service. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston.
TENNESSEE METAL TREATING COMPANY AND PRESIDENT SENTENCED
Moore, McMillen Inc. (MMI), and MMI’s President William Moore, both of Sevierville, Tenn., each pled guilty to negligent violations of the Clean Water Act and were sentenced on Jan. 9 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville. The defendants operated a metal-plating business, which used a salt-bath nitrating process to treat automobile valves and other metal products to make them stronger and more corrosion resistant. The defendants admitted they failed to properly manage resultant sludge from the MMI treatment process and some of that sludge went into a drainage ditch, which leads to the east prong of the Little Pigeon River. The sludge contained a hazardous level of chromium and a measurable amount of cyanide, both of which can harm fish and aquatic life. In addition, the sludge was quite caustic when combined with water, another risk for fish and aquatic organisms. Moore was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. MMI will pay $100,000 in restitution to the City of Sevierville Water Systems and $100,000 to the Tennessee Valley Authority Police. MMI has also spent $384,500 to develop systems that will bring it into full compliance with environmental laws. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division acting with other members of the East Tennessee Environmental Crimes Task Force and with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Greenville.
R-014 # # #
Release date:01/15/2003 Receive our News Releases Automatically by Email
Last Revised: 01/28/2003 11:44:14 AM