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PA NORTH DAKOTA COMPANY AND OWNER SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL REMOVAL OF ASBESTOS

Release Date: 12/04/98
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1998
NORTH DAKOTA COMPANY AND OWNER SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL REMOVAL OF ASBESTOS

Jerry L. Meide, owner of Meide and Son Inc., of Wahpeton, N.D., pleaded guilty to violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and was sentenced on Nov. 25 in U. S. District Court for the District of North Dakota in Fargo, N.D. Meide admitted to violating the Clean Air Act by illegally removing and disposing of asbestos-containing material in 1994 and 1995. Meide was sentenced to ten months confinement, one year supervised release and was ordered to reimburse the State of North Dakota $100,000 for the cleanup of asbestos. In addition, Meide and his company were ordered to jointly pay a fine of $100,000. Meide and Son Inc. was hired by the Urban Renewal Agency to renovate the Ben Franklin and Action Reaction Sports stores in Wahpeton, N.D. In the process, they failed to follow CAA workplace safety standards required to prevent asbestos fibers from becoming airborne. The defendants also did not notify the EPA or the North Dakota Department of Health that asbestos was being removed, failed to properly package the asbestos once it had been removed, and did not legally dispose of the asbestos. Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, a lung disease known as “asbestosis,” and mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. This case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center, the North Dakota Department of Health, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Wahpeton Police Department.


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