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TWO PENNSYLVANIA MEN INDICTED FOR CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATIONS

Release Date: 11/04/99
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FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 1999
TWO PENNSYLVANIA MEN INDICTED FOR
CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATIONS

Robert Schippers and Ronald Padula, both of Easton, Pa., were indicted on Oct. 28, in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on multiple counts of violating the Clean Water Act and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. Schippers owned and operated Schippers Service Inc., a trucking company located in Easton that transported hazardous materials such as kerosene, diesel fuel, gasoline, aviation gas and #2 and #6 fuel oil. Padula was the head mechanic at Schippers Service and was licensed by Pennsylvania to perform state required safety inspections on automobiles and trucks. The defendants allegedly cleaned truck cargo tanks in a wash bay at the Schipper’s Service facility and then emptied the waste water directly into the sewer system owned by the city of Easton. The waste water allegedly contained hazardous chemicals including petroleum residues from the tanks and kerosene and diesel fuel used to clean the tanks. Dumping petroleum products into public sewers can create an explosion hazard, harm sewage treatment facility equipment and destroy bacteria that are necessary for the proper treatment of sewage. The defendants also are accused of falsifying vehicle inspection reports on numerous occasions. If convicted on all counts, Schippers faces a maximum sentence of 228 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $11.5 million. Padula faces a maximum prison sentence of 105 years and/or a fine of up to $5.75 million, if convicted on all counts. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center and the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General’s Office and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

R-137 ###