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United States v. MRS Plating Inc. and Ron Jagielo

Release Date: 05/25/1999
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(#98085) Buffalo, New York -- United States Attorney Denise E. O'Donnell and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox announced today that MRS Plating Inc. (a Lockport, N.Y. Metal Finishing Company) and one of its chief managers, Ron Jagielo, age 38, of Lockport, New York, pled guilty to felony violations of the Clean Water Act (Title 33, United States Code, Section 1319(c)). The charges involved the illegal discharge of hazardous wastes into the Lockport, New York sewer system on numerous occasions during the spring, summer and fall of 1997. Under a plea agreement signed today, the company's sentence will be in excess of $120,000, while Mr. Jagielo faces a term of imprisonment of one to two years. The pleas were entered before United States District Court Judge William M. Skretny who set sentencing for September 29, 1999.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Martin J. Littlefield, stated that MRS Plating Inc. of 308 Park Avenue, Lockport, New York is a metal finishing company, employing approximately 20 persons. In November 1997, federal, state and local investigators searched the facility, uncovering an elaborate system designed to hide and/or distort the actual illegal discharges coming from MRS Plating into the City sewer system. Ron Jagielo was the manager responsible for waste disposal.

Three years ago in May 1996, MRS Plating pled guilty to the same type of violation for illegal discharges occurring during 1995. The investigation was undertaken by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, under the direction of Resident Agent In Charge, Douglas Knorr; the Lockport Department of Utilities, under the direction of Cindy Tudor-Schultz; the Lockport Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Neil Merritt; and the New York State Attorney General's Office, under the direction of Investigator Paul Scherf.

Cindy Tudor-Schultz, of the Lockport Waste Water Treatment Plant, stated that the illegal discharges did not impose any immediate danger to the sewer system nor the treatment works. However, Ms. Tudor-Schultz emphasized that such illegal disposals by industrial users, if allowed to continue, could have a severe impact upon the sewer system's ability to properly treat and dispose of waste generated by the various industries in the Lockport area. As part of its sentence, the company is required to make restitution to the treatment plant and the Lockport Police Department in excess of $30,000.00.

For more information contact:
Mary Mears, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3669 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: