Updated Fri, Mar 28, 2014 3:31 pm
A Marietta company has been ordered to pay a $37,500 fine and make a $12,500 community service payment to the Warren Township Fire Department for failing to report violations of the company’s permit in connection with its mineral processing operation.
U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley imposed the sentence Friday against Marietta Industrial Enterprises, Inc. (MIE).
Company president William Scott Elliott was sentenced to serve 48 consecutive hours in jail followed by five months and 28 days of home confinement with electronic monitoring.
He was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
Elliott pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of being an accessory after the fact for failing to notify Ohio Environmental Protection Agency of the violations.
In addition to the fine and community service, the company will perform 416 hours of community service (at least 208 of those hours must be performed by Elliott), serve three years of probation, conduct an environmental audit of their facilities and correct any deficiencies identified in that audit.
According to court documents, one of MIE’s manufacturing processes is crushing medium carbon ferromanganese alloy, referred to as medium carbon, in a mill line.
Emissions from the mill lines are captured by equipment known as a baghouse using a large electric fan to ensure that air pollution from the facility is limited. According to court documents, company employees began turning off the fan when processing medium carbon sometime in 2006.
In May 2009, Elliott learned that the baghouse fans were being turned off when medium carbon was crushed and put an end to the practice.
MIE’s permit calls for the company to disclose any instances that the baghouse has not operated properly in its quarterly and annual reports to Ohio EPA.
Between 2006 and 2009, MIE never reported that the baghouse fans were turned off during the processing of medium carbon. From July 19, 2009 through August 10, 2010, Elliott, on behalf of MIE, submitted reports to Ohio EPA.
None of the reports stated that the baghouse fans were turned off during the processing of medium carbon.
“Mr. Elliott and his company endangered Ohioans by allowing hazardous air pollutants to be emitted when they could have and should have been operating existing pollution control equipment,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said.
“I will aggressively prosecute anyone who intentionally threatens Ohio families with this kind of irresponsible behavior.”
“This success is a result of the work of dedicated investigative experts at Ohio EPA’s Office of Special Investigations who work with our partners to prosecute these cases,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler.
This case was jointly investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio EPA, and the U.S. EPA Criminal Investigation Division, all members of the Central Ohio Environmental Crimes Task Force.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Beeson and Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Marous prosecuted the case.