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PA MISSOURI COMPANY AND TWO OFFICIALS FINED FOR WATER VIOLATIONS

Release Date: 11/13/98
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1998
MISSOURI COMPANY AND TWO OFFICIALS FINED FOR WATER VIOLATIONS

Steve Cooper, former president and George Russell, a former manager of Osceola Products Co., which operates cottonseed processing plants in Kennett, Mo. and Osceola, Ark., and the Kennett plant were sentenced on Nov. 2, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in Cape Girardeu for violating the Clean Water Act (CWA). Osceola Products admitted that its Kennett plant discharged approximately 2.5 million gallons of untreated cottonseed processing wastewater containing hexane, cotton seed oil and grease between March 1996 and April 1997 into Buffalo Creek, which is a tributary of the St. Francis River. Cooper and Russell admitted that, despite repeated warnings from federal and state officials, they took a year to bring the Kennett facility into compliance with the CWA. Osceola Products was ordered to immediately pay a fine of $150,000, enact a comprehensive environmental compliance program, report twice a year to the court on its state of compliance, and publish an apology to the citizens of Kennett, Mo., for illegally polluting the environment. Cooper was sentenced to six months of confinement and ordered to pay a fine of $20,000. Russell was sentenced to six months confinement and must pay a fine of $2,500. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center.



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