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COMPANY AND EMPLOYEE PLEAD GUILTY TO CLEAN WATER VIOLATIONS
Release Date: 01/20/2000
FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2000
COMPANY AND EMPLOYEE PLEAD GUILTY
TO CLEAN WATER VIOLATIONS
Chemetco Inc., a Delaware corporation, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of violating the Clean Water Act at its secondary copper smelter near Hartford, Ill. The plea was made on Jan. 11 in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, Ill. Chemetco also pleaded no contest to charges that it made false statements to EPA and to the Army Corps of Engineers. The charges arose from the installation of a secret, illegal discharge pipe at the smelter. From September 1986 through September 1996 the secret pipe was used to discharge pollutants such as zinc, lead and cadmium into Long Lake, a tributary of the Mississippi River, without a permit. In sufficient quantities these pollutants can be harmful to fish and aquatic life and can make water undrinkable. When sentenced, Chemetco faces up to $2 million in fines. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and the Illinois EPA. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.
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