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PA WASHINGTON CHEMICAL PLANT OWNER CONVICTED

Release Date: 11/14/97
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1997
WASHINGTON CHEMICAL PLANT OWNER CONVICTED

On Nov. 5, Thomas E. Iverson Sr., founder and former president of CH2O Inc., which is located in Olympia, Wash., was convicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle on five counts of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA). A jury found Iverson guilty of one count of conspiracy to violate the CWA and four counts of violating the CWA by illegally discharging chemical wastes into a sewer. CH2O produces boiler treatment chemicals, concentrated janitorial supplies, and numerous other chemical products. During the years 1992 through 1995, CH2O employees illegally disposed of wash water from chemically contaminated drums returned by CH2O customers. The waste was flushed into a line which had been illegally installed into a sewer cleanout at a run-down warehouse in downtown Olympia, seven miles from the CH2O plant. The illegal dumping was discovered in February 1995 after a worker at the local sewage treatment plant was overcome by chemical fumes apparently caused by that dumping. This prosecution was the result of a joint investigation by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the City of Olympia Police Department, and the Washington State Department of Ecology with the assistance of EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center.


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