OWNER OF ASBESTOS TRANSPORTATION COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS AS TO IMPROPER WASTE DISPOSAL
Release Date: 06/11/2007
Contact Information: VICKIE E. LEDUC or MARCIA MURPHY at (410) 209-4885
Greenbelt, Maryland - Terrance Yates, age 43, of Pasadena, California, pleaded guilty today to an Information which charges him with making false statements on a report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in connection with the improper disposal of asbestos- containing waste materials, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, Rod J. Rosenstein, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Ronald J. Tenpas, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice.
According to the plea agreement, Yates owned and operated Hazport Solutions, Inc., located in Maryland, which contracted with asbestos abatement companies to transport regulated asbestos-containing material from asbestos abatement sites to authorized landfills. From August 2004 through July 2006, Yates contracted with at least five hazardous waste removal companies to transport 12 to 17 trailers full of asbestos- containing waste materials from locations in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia to an EPA-approved landfill in Pennsylvania.
Yates took possession of the trailers and accepted payment from the companies for disposal of the waste. However, instead of transporting the waste to the approved landfill, Yates transported the trailers to a lot in Severn, Maryland where he left them for more than a year until they were discovered by law enforcement. He then returned waste shipment records to the companies which falsely certified that the waste had been disposed of at the Pennsylvania landfill. The shipment records were later submitted to the EPA.
On July 18, 2006, EPA agents inspected the lot where Yates abandoned the trailers and found 12 trailers leased to Hazport, eight of which were full of asbestos-containing waste materials. The trailers were not lined with plastic and no signs were posted indicating that they contained asbestos, as required by federal regulations. Some of the bags containing asbestos had been damaged, and loose asbestos-containing debris was found in the trailers.
EPA commenced a clean-up of the trailers in August, 2006 and required the asbestos abatement contractors for the renovation and demolition sites, who had relied upon Yates’s false certifications, to remove the waste materials and ensure its proper disposal. The clean-up operation concluded in December 2006, required extensive work on behalf of the abatement contractors, and cost approximately $57,000.
Yates faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for September 17, 2007 at 10:00 a.m.
U.S. Attorney Rosenstein and Acting Assistant Attorney General Tenpas praised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of the Environment for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Tenpas thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Gina L. Simms, and Department of Justice Attorney Noreen McCarthy, who are prosecuting the case.