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WEST VIRGINIA MAN INDICTED FOR ILLEGAL LEAD DISPOSAL

Release Date: 11/02/2000
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FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, NOV. 2, 2000

WEST VIRGINIA MAN INDICTED FOR ILLEGAL LEAD DISPOSAL

Paul Jeddy Nicholas, operator of Elk River Ammunition Inc., in Volga, W.Va., was indicted on Oct. 12 for allegedly violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The charges allege that the defendant purchased ammunition from a government contractor, then allegedly removed the cartridge primers and treated them without a hazardous waste permit. The defendant also allegedly improperly disposed of the primers by burning them in a stove and an open burn pit. Primers, which sometimes contain lead, are ammunition components that produce a spark when hit by the firing pin and cause the gunpowder in the cartridge to ignite. Burning leaded primers improperly can release lead which, if inhaled, is toxic to the central nervous system and can cause diseases of the bones and internal organs. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines, or both, on each of the two counts. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the Department of Defense, the West Virginia State Police with the assistance of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charleston, W.Va.

R-169 ###