News Releases By Date
1. NEW YORK STATE CLEANS UP DIESEL ENGINES IN LOWER MANHATTAN , 2. $3.5 MILLION AWARDED FOR RESEARCH ON GLOBAL CHANGE, 3. EPA ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF FIRST REGIONAL COLLABORATION BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND ELECTRONIC INDUSTRY TO ENCOURAGE TV, COMPUTER RECYCLING, 4. WHITMAN COMMEMORATES CLEAN WATER ACT ANNIVERSARY AT YOUTH WATERSHED SUMMIT, 5. EPA RELEASES GUIDE TO CLEAN UP MOLD IN HOMES, 6. FOUR MINNESOTA RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL DRUG MANUFACTURING AND ILLEGAL HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL, 7. VIRGINIA ASBESTOS ABATEMENT COMPANY AND OPERATIONS MANAGER PLEAD GUILTY IN ASBESTOS CERTIFICATE SCHEME, 8. MAN FROM SAIPAN INDICTED FOR CONSPIRACY AND FALSE STATEMENTS, 9. NEW HAMPSHIRE MAN SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL SEWAGE DISCHARGE, 10. FLORIDA WOMAN CONVICTED IN MICHIGAN ON HAZARDOUS WASTE CHARGES
Release Date: 10/10/2002
Following are some Agency developments which may interest you. If you need
more information on any of these subjects, call the appropriate contact.
Cathy Milbourn firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA acknowledges Governor Pataki and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation for their plan to reduce emissions from construction vehicles being used in the reconstruction of lower Manhattan. Since the rebuilding of lower Manhattan will include new construction projects, New York will take steps to reduce harmful emissions from non-road diesel engines through the use of cleaner fuels and best available retrofit technology. EPA believes that the successful implementation of this clean diesel approach can serve as a model for other construction projects across the country. EPA is working to significantly to reduce pollution from diesel engines and has established a voluntary diesel retrofit program that will address emissions from the existing fleet of diesel engines. This program is an incentive-based voluntary program designed to reduce emissions from existing diesel vehicles and equipment by the installation of pollution-reducing technology. With this program, New York will require that ultra low sulfur diesel fuel and the best available retrofit technology be installed on all non-road construction equipment used in state fleets and contracts operating at the World Trade Center site. This initiative fits into the goals and objectives of the Diesel Retrofit program. For more information about EPA’s Diesel Retrofit program, see: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/retrofit.
$3.5 MILLION AWARDED FOR RESEARCH ON GLOBAL CHANGE
Suzanne Ackerman email@example.com
EPA has awarded research grants totaling more than $3.5 million to four universities to study the potential consequences of global climate change on U.S. ecosystems and their living organisms. The grants were awarded through Science to Achieve Results (STAR), an EPA program that funds research in environmental science and engineering and employs a competitive solicitation process and independent peer review. Grant recipients at Colorado State University will investigate whether changes in climate and ultraviolet radiation (UV) increase assimilation of metal contaminants by aquatic organisms in Rocky Mountain streams. Lehigh University scientists will study the Lehigh River watershed in northeastern Pennsylvania to determine how land and river properties interact with solar radiation and how organisms adapt to increased UV exposure. By studying the Ontonagon River in northern Michigan, University of Notre Dame scientists will investigate how global change affects aquatic ecosystems, with a focus on future risk strategies to reduce possible damage to aquatic ecosystems. Texas Tech researchers will study the effects that global change could have on playa lake systems and how agricultural producers can modify land management practices to mitigate these effects. More information on these research projects is available at:
http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/268. To learn more about EPA's STAR program, see: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/.
ENCOURAGE TV, COMPUTER RECYCLING
EPA and state environmental agencies in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region today announced in Philadelphia the results of the “eCycling” pilot project, the nation's first collaboration between multi-state government agencies and the electronics industry to offer citizens and small business opportunities to reuse and recycle old computer equipment, televisions and other electronic products. eCycling, launched in October 2001, evaluates different methods of collecting end-of-life electronics, compiles data about the costs of collecting, transporting and processing electronics and helps define the roles and responsibilities of government, consumers, electronics manufacturers, retailers, and recyclers in recycling. Using funds so far totaling at least half a million dollars from EPA, the Mid-Atlantic states, manufacturers and members of the Electronic Industries Alliance, eCycling has collected over 2,100 tons of used electronics from Mid-Atlantic residents, and prevented over 21,000 cathode ray tubes (CRTs) in televisions from entering the region’s landfills and incinerators. CRTs are a source of the hazardous substance lead. Electronic equipment collected during the 45 eCycling equipment drop-off events in 31 counties and cities included televisions, monitors, computers, printers, keyboards and scanners. Manufacturers participating in eCycling include Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, Canon, Hewlett Packard, JVC, Kodak, Philips Consumer Electronics -- North America and Thomson Multimedia. Electronics recyclers who helped to transport, recycle and refurbish three million pounds of eCycling electronics were Envirocycle Inc. of Hallstead, Pa.; Elemental Inc. of Philadelphia; and Waste Management Inc. – Recycle America of San Leandro, Calif. Allof the recyclers certified that the equipment was recycled safely and will not be dismantled or managed overseas. Attending the announcement from EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., was Marianne Lamont Horinko, EPA Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response, who praised the participants in eCycling for their cooperation and dedication in encouraging recycling. The EPA lead in eCycling is the Agency’s Region III office in Philadelphia, which oversees the Mid-Atlantic states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Electronic Industries Alliance, headquartered in Arlington, Va., is a partnership of electronic and high-tech associations and companies whose mission is promoting the market development and competitiveness of the U.S. high-tech industry through domestic and international policy efforts. For more information, go to the eCycling website at: http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/eCyclingwaste.htm.
AT YOUTH WATERSHED SUMMIT
EPA Administrator Christie Whitman helped commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act and the Year of Clean Water at the National Youth Watershed Summit on Oct. 9. The Clean Water Act was enacted on Oct. 18, 1972. This year, Whitman has designated the anniversary date, Oct. 18, as National Water Monitoring Day and is encouraging people to take part in monitoring their local waterways. This week's summit, hosted by America's Clean Water Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution, welcomed over 250 students and teachers from across the country to Washington, D. C., who are participating in week-long activities at the Smithsonian's Environmental Research Center and around the Washington, D.C., area. The summit is designed to engage the next generation of water protection leaders. The students are being challenged to develop their knowledge of watersheds and cooperative problem solving. The summit is also partially funded by grants from EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For more information, see the Year of Clean Water website at: http://www.yearofcleanwater.org.
The publication "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home" provides information to homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth. “Molds have the potential to cause health problems and allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rash,” said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. “If you already have a problem, act quickly, mold damages what it grows on, the longer it grows the more damage it can cause.” Molds are part of the natural environment that help to break down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees. Even though molds are usually not a problem indoors, they can have the potential to cause problems if spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce that can grow on wood, paper, carpet and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. If mold is a problem in a home, the homeowner should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem. It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24- to 48-hours to prevent mold growth. The guide is available at: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/moldresources.html.
Teresa Libera firstname.lastname@example.org
FOUR MINNESOTA RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL DRUG MANUFACTURING
AND ILLEGAL HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL
Michael James Wederath of Robbinsdale, Minn.; Nicole Marie Simmons of Crystal, Minn.; and David Paul Wederath and Bradley Odell, both of Fridley, Minn., each were indicted on Oct. 1 in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in Minneapolis on charges of conspiring to manufacture and manufacturing methamphetamine, conspiring to violate and violating the Clean Water Act (CWA). The charges in this indictment state: Between June and August, the alleged defendants used the basement of a house in Robbinsdale, Minn., to operate an illegal clandestine drug laboratory and dispose of hazardous drug laboratory waste by dumping it down a drain into a public sewer system, in violation of the CWA. Drug lab wastes are highly toxic and can present a danger of fire and explosion when dumped down drains. If convicted on all charges, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison on the drug charges and up to six years in prison on the CWA charges. In addition, the CWA violations each carry fines of up to $50,000 each. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force and EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Minneapolis. An indictment is merely an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.
PLEAD GUILTY IN ASBESTOS CERTIFICATE SCHEME
Potomac Abatement Inc., a Washington, D.C., area asbestos abatement firm, and William Gutierrrez, Potomac Abatement’s operations manager, each pleaded guilty on Oct. 1 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, Va., to making false statements in connection with a scheme to purchase false asbestos abatement training certificates. Gutierrez and Potomac Abatement then performed asbestos abatement work, without certified training, at the Pan American Health Organization and the Washington Navy Yard. The defendants purchased falsified training certificates from F&M Environmental Technologies Inc., a Virginia company which previously pleaded guilty to selling hundreds of such false certificates in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Failure to receive proper asbestos abatement training can expose workers to the inhalation of asbestos fibers, which is a cause of lung cancer, a lung disease known as “asbestosis” and mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. When sentenced, Gutierrez faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. Potomac Abatement faces maximum fine of up to $500,000. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Alexandria.
Angelito Delos Santos of the Island of Saipan in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) was indicted on Oct. 3 in U.S. District Court for the District of the Northern Mariana Islands. The indictments include one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. EPA and four counts of submitting false statements, with respect to the alleged falsification of bottled water samples. Santos is in the business of supplying and maintaining drinking water filtration equipment to garment factories, bottled water companies and restaurants on the Island of Saipan. Specifically, the defendant is charged with allegedly tampering with drinking water samples by boiling, over-chlorinating and substituting bacteria-free water to make it appear as if the samples met federal standards for bacteria. Tampering with drinking water samples can expose the public to high levels of bacteria in drinking water, which can cause a variety of infections and abdominal illnesses. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI with assistance from the CNMI Division of Environmental Quality. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. An indictment is merely an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.
Bradley G. Beaudoin of Troy, N.H., was sentenced on Sept. 24 to six months home confinement, one year probation and a $2,000 fine in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire in Concord. The defendant also permanently surrendered his license as a wastewater treatment plant operator. Beaudoin is the former Superintendent of the Troy Waste Water Treatment Plant. The defendant installed an illegal pipe, which allowed raw sewage and wastewater to leak from a valve at the plant and enter the Ashuelot River from 1994-2000. Allowing raw sewage and untreated wastewater to enter surface waters can make the waters unsafe for drinking, recreation, fish and wildlife. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Concord.
FLORIDA WOMAN CONVICTED IN MICHIGAN ON HAZARDOUS WASTE CHARGES
Johan March Heward of Rotunda West, Fla., was convicted on Sept. 25 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit on charges that she illegally transported, stored and disposed of hazardous waste in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The defendant inherited the assets of the Utility Enameling Corp., a Detroit parts cleaning and coating company that ceased operation in 1990. The assets included property in Detroit where approximately 100-125 55-gallon drums containing waste solvents, acids and paints were stored. Between April 1995 and November 1995, Heward illegally stored and transported the drums to New York, where they were abandoned in a shopping center parking lot. Abandoning drums of hazardous waste in public areas creates a potentially serious health hazard. When sentenced, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI, with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit.
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