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PA MOST WANTED ENV. CRIME FUGITIVE CAPTURED

Release Date: 11/18/96
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PA MOST WANTED ENV. CRIME FUGITIVE CAPTURED

FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1996

MOST WANTED ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME FUGITIVE CAPTURED

On Nov. 12, Noble Cunningham, an environmental crime fugitive featured twice on the television program"America's Most Wanted," was ordered by a Federal Magistrate in Columbus, Ohio, to be returned to Georgia in the custody of U.S. Marshalls. Cunningham fled in July 1993, after being indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta, Ga., on four federal felony counts of conspiracy and illegally transporting and disposing of hazardous waste in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Cunningham operated R&D Chemical Co. in Mansfield, Ohio, which had developed the RM 2000 system which was designed to clean wastewater from metal plating operations. A byproduct was the creation of barium chromate sludge, which is a listed hazardous waste. The system was sold to plating companies that eventually returned the sludge to R&D Chemical to be recycled. However, attempts to recycle the sludge proved unsuccessful and 600,000 pounds of hazardous waste was illegally stored on a farm owned by Cunningham near Mansfield, Ohio. When the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency undertook an administrative action, the hazardous waste was illegally transported in containers to Rose Laboratories Inc. in Brookhaven, Ga. and abandoned. Cunningham was apprehended without incident in Huntsville, Ohio, on Nov. 7, by special agents of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, deputies of the U. S. Marshalls' Service, and detectives of the Logan County, Ohio, Sheriff's Department. He was located on a tip provided to the Logan County Sheriff's Department.

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