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NORTH CAROLINA OIL REFINERY, THREE INDIVIDUALS INDICTED

Release Date: 12/13/2001
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FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2001

NORTH CAROLINA OIL REFINERY, THREE INDIVIDUALS INDICTED

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


High Rise Services Co. Inc., of Leland, N.C.; its president, Andrew Jackson Simmons, Jr.; a company foreman, Anthony Paul Norris; and Terry Ray Hill; were indicted on Dec. 6 on various federal charges relating to the operation of High Rise= s business of re-refining used oils into useable products. The indictment alleges that Simmons and Norris conspired to discharge oil into the Cape Fear River in violation of the Clean Water Act, that they failed to notify the federal government of the discharge and that they obstructed justice and made false statements to the U.S. Coast Guard. The indictment also alleges that Simmons, Norris and High Rise Services knowingly violated used oil regulations by storing used oil in leaking or unlabeled containers. Simmons and Hill also were charged with impeding the collection of federal income taxes. Releasing oil into surface waters can make the waters unfit for recreation and drinking and can cause significant harm to fish and wildlife. If convicted on all charges, High Rise Services could be fined up to $1.7 million; Simmons could receive a maximum of up to 40 years in prison and/or up to $2.25 million in fines; Norris could receive a maximum of up to 35 years in prison and/or up to $2 million in fines; and Hill could receive up to five years in prison and/or up to $250,000 in fines. The case was investigated by EPA = s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Internal Revenue Service and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of EPA= s National Enforcement Investigations Center. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney= s office in Greenville, N.C. An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.

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