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FOUR SENTENCED IN LOUISIANA RCRA CONVICTIONS

Release Date: 12/08/2000
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DEC. 8, 2000
FOUR SENTENCED IN LOUISIANA RCRA CONVICTIONS


On Dec. 1, sentences were handed down for convictions growing out of a fatality resulting from methyl bromide poisoning: Amtek of Louisiana Inc., of Baton Rouge, La.; Sims Brothers Construction Inc., of Pensacola, Fla.; Robert Case of Baton Rouge, La., President of Amtek; and Mark Jerkins of Pensacola, Fla., a site superintendent for Sims Brothers; were all sentenced in the U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Sims Brothers Construction was fined $100,000, Robert Case was ordered to pay $24,628 in fines and restitution and was sentenced to four months of home confinement and all defendants were placed on five years probation. In May 1997, Sims Brothers hired Amtek to demolish buildings on a construction site in Baton Rouge. During the demolition, two cylinders of the highly poisonous rodenticide methyl bromide were found at the site and left unsecured on the ground. On June 11 of that year, a building inspector instructed Jerkins to dispose of the cylinders properly, but he and Case took no action. Two days later, an Amtek employee removed the cylinders and placed them near the residence of his cousin, Edith Rome in Albany, La. A friend of Ms. Rome tried to use one of the cylinders as fuel and left it in her home after finding that its valve would not fit the fixture on her stove. The cylinder’s valve had a leak and Ms. Rome died of methyl bromide poisoning. Her son became seriously ill and required emergency medical treatment. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture with assistance from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana State Police. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baton Rouge.

R-186 ###