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INDIANA GUIDE CORP. FINED FOR POLLUTING WHITE RIVER

Release Date: 11/09/2001
Contact Information:


FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2001
INDIANA GUIDE CORP. FINED FOR POLLUTING WHITE RIVER

Luke C. Hester 202-564-7818/hester.luke@epa.gov


Guide Corp. (Guide), an automotive lighting manufacturer in Anderson, Ind., was sentenced on Oct. 12 after pleading guilty to seven criminal negligence charges under the Clean Water Act. Guide was fined $1,956,000, ordered to pay $275,000 in restitution to the city of Anderson, and forfeited $1,956,000 to the United States, to be used to benefit the environment. As part of its sentence, Guide was required to submit a plan for a comprehensive environmental and training program to the Office of Federal Probation and Parole. Guide was also required to serve five years probation, during which time it must comply with all environmental laws or face additional legal consequences. The case involved a 1999 pollution event which killed more than l00 tons of fish along a 40-mile stretch of Indiana’s White River, from Anderson to Indianapolis. The company improperly discharged to the Anderson treatment plant approximately 1.6 million gallons of wastewater containing toxic concentrations of dimethyldithiocarbamate, the active ingredient of the wastewater treatment compound HMP-2000, as well as breakdown products such as carbon disulfide. In addition, the company negligently failed to test any of the discharged wastewater to determine if it contained concentrations of HMP-2000 or carbon disulfide. The toxic concentrations of pollutants in the wastewater interfered with the operation of the Anderson sewage plant, resulting in the pollution and fish kill in the White River. In June the U.S. EPA,
the U.S. Department of Justice and the state of Indiana settled civil claims against Guide arising from the fish kill, with Guide paying a total of over $10 million in clean-up costs, reimbursement and penalties. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Indianapolis, Ind.

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