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IDAHO REFRIGERATION REPAIR COMPANY AND OWNERS INDICTED

Release Date: 10/25/2001
Contact Information:


FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, OCT. 25, 2001
IDAHO REFRIGERATION REPAIR COMPANY AND OWNERS INDICTED
Luke C. Hester 202-564-7818 / hester.luke@epa.gov


Travis Scott Erickson and Deborah Ann Erickson, owners and managers of Cool Unit, L.L.C. in Post Falls, Idaho, and Cool Unit, L.L.C., were indicted on Oct.16 for conspiracy and for allegedly violating three federal laws, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Act and the Clean Water Act. Cool Unit is a business which is engaged in repairing and reconditioning ammonia-based refrigeration units that are commonly found in recreational vehicles. The defendants allegedly stored at least 9,000 gallons of hazardous wastes illegally. The wastes contained ammonia and chromium which were drained from refrigeration units under repair. The indictment further alleges they illegally transported the wastes to Coeur d’Alene and illegally disposed of significant quantities of hazardous wastes containing ammonia and chromium by dumping them into the city sewer system. Such dumping can risk the health of sewage treatment plant workers, damage sewage treatment equipment and create a risk for people, fish and wildlife that come into contact with waters discharged from wastewater treatment plants. If convicted, the individual defendants each face sentences of up to five years in prison and/or up to $250,000 on each count. Cool Unit faces fines of up to $500,000 on each count, if convicted. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI and the Idaho State Police and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. 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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