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PA WEST VIRGINIA COMPANY AND OWNER PLEADS GUILTY FOR VIOLATING THE CLEAN AIR ACT

Release Date: 10/24/97
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24, 1997

WEST VIRGINIA COMPANY AND OWNER PLEADS GUILTY FOR VIOLATING THE CLEAN AIR ACT

On October 16, SAK Environmental Inc., and its owner Frederick Q. Blizzard, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia in Clarksburg to violating the Clean Air Act. Blizzard and SAK admitted to conspiring to improperly remove asbestos and dump it to save money on environmental compliance costs during various renovation and demolition projects in West Virginia and Ohio between 1992 and 1996. As part of the conspiracy, Blizzard and SAK removed the asbestos from various sites without properly wetting it, caused false air monitoring samples to be taken, and improperly disposed of the asbestos in wooded areas of Tyler County, West Virginia. Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer and a lung disease known as “asbestosis” in humans. When sentenced, Blizzard may receive up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $250,000. SAK faces a maximum fine of up to $500,000. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, EPA’s Region 3 Air and Toxics and Superfund programs, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the West Virginia Department of Health with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center.

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