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PA PRES./OWNER OF OREGON ENVIR. CLEANUP COMPANY SENTENCED

Release Date: 10/4/96
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PA PRES./OWNER OF OREGON ENVIR. CLEANUP COMPANY SENTENCED

FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1996



PRESIDENT/OWNER OF OREGON ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP

COMPANY SENTENCED


On Sept. 23, Robert Cyphers was ordered to serve five months incarceration and five months home detention as a result of his June 1996 guilty plea to violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Cyphers, the former president and owner of UST Environmental Services, operated a company whose primary business involved removing leaking underground storage tanks and cleaning up contaminated soil and groundwater after the tanks had been removed. Cyphers admitted to falsifying laboratory analyses performed by his company regarding soil and groundwater contamination at the removal sites. The reports were submitted to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality as required under RCRA. Cyphers benefited financially from his illegal acts by fraudulently billing his customers for the laboratory analyses which were not performed. As a consequence, many of these sites might still be contaminated. The State of Oregon has resampled several tank removal sites declared free of contamination by Cyphers and has found petroleum contamination at some of them. Petroleum products from leaking underground storage tanks can seep into groundwater used to supply drinking water and cause a variety of illnesses including cancer. As part of his agreement with the government, Cyphers will pay the State of Oregon over $500,000 to help cover cleanup costs at the contaminated sites. This case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division.

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