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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ENR
TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 1998
(202) 514-2008
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
TDD (202) 514-1888

DENVER RECYCLING FACILITY CHARGED WITH KNOWINGLY

ENDANGERING EMPLOYEES

NEWELL RECYCLING, INC. a Denver scrap metal recycler,


was charged today with knowingly endangering its
employees by storing discarded gasoline in a pit
without taking proper precautions, the Department of
Justice and the U.S. Attorney for Colorado announced
today. Three employees were injured when the gas
caught fire.

"There is no excuse for knowingly endangering workers


through illegal hazardous waste storage," said Lois
J. Schiffer, Assistant Attorney General for
Environment and Natural Resources. "Those who do so
will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted."

As part of its scrap metal recycling business, NEWELL


RECYCLING took in crushed cars with gasoline still in
the tanks. According to the seven-count indictment
handed up today in U.S. District Court in Denver,
NEWELL RECYCLING punctured the gasoline tanks,
allowed the discarded gasoline to drain into a pit on
its property and also disposed discarded gasoline
near the pit. The alleged activity took place for at
least two years. Federal law prohibits storing and
disposing gasoline without a permit.

Employees were required to work in the pit exposed to


liquid containing gasoline and gasoline fumes without
proper protective equipment. According to the
indictment, three employees were burned and/or
scarred in a fire sparked by gas fumes in the pit.
All three were hospitalized.

Also charged with illegal storage and disposal of the


discarded gasoline were GILBERT ROBERT TRIESCH, JR.,
Vice-President of NEWELL, JOE L. FULTON, Vice-
President and General Manager of NEWELL, and DAVID
TEAGUE, Yard Foreman of NEWELL. The indictment says
the three managers allowed cars into the facility
with gasoline still in the tanks, and then illegally
stored and disposed of the gasoline. The company and
three managers were also charged with conspiracy to
store and dispose of the hazardous waste.

According to U.S. Attorney for the District of


Colorado Henry L. Solano, federal law enforcement
authorities in Colorado are aggressively pursuing
individuals and businesses that mishandle hazardous
wastes and that intentionally endanger workers.

If convicted, the company faces a maximum fine of up


to $1 million dollars for the knowing endangerment
and up to $50,000 per day of storage and disposal or
$500,000 per count for the additional charges. The
individuals face up to five years in prison and a
fine of up to $50,000 per day of storage and disposal
or $250,000 per count for the illegal storage and
disposal charges.

The investigation was conducted by the Environmental


Protection Agency's Criminal Investigation Division
and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is
being prosecuted by the Justice Department's
Environment and Natural Resources Division.

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