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Man Pleads Guilty To Asbestos Violations in Johnson City, New York

Release Date: 12/08/1998
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(#98166) New York, New York -- Thomas J. Maroney, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York and Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator announced today that Terry F. Conklin, 35, of Cape Coral, Florida, plead guilty to a criminal violation of the Clean Air Act. Mr. Conklin plead guilty to illegally disposing of friable asbestos (asbestos that becomes airborne) which he removed from an industrial building in Johnson City, New York. Mr. Conklin buried some of the friable asbestos in the office floor at the building, and abandoned other portions outside, in violation of asbestos regulations. As part of the plea agreement, Mr. Conklin will remove the asbestos and will dispose of it properly at a permitted facility.

"Asbestos is a dangerous substance and it must be handled properly," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "By haphazardly handling this asbestos, Mr. Conklin risked the health of his workers and those in the community surrounding the site where the asbestos is buried. We simply can't tolerate this kind of total disregard for the law and people's health."

On September 24, 1998 Mr. Conklin was indicted on three counts of violating the Clean Air Act, one count of violating Superfund and four counts of willfully making false, fraudulent and fictitious material statements to representatives of the New York State Department of Labor - Asbestos Control Bureau, and Special Agents of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. On September 29, 1998, Special Agents of the Environmental Protection Agency arrested Mr.Conklin at his residence in Cape Coral, Florida.

Mr. Conklin is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Thomas J. McAvoy, in Binghamton, N. Y. on April 23, 1999. Mr. Conklin faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Environmental Protection Agency and prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Craig A. Benedict.


For more information contact:
Mary Mears, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3669 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: mears.mary@epamail.epa.gov