FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
CRIM DE LA CRIM MEMBERS INDICTED FOR ILLEGAL REMOVAL
AND DISPOSAL OF ASBESTOS
WASHINGTON, D.C.– A federal grand jury returned an indictment today against three members of a Martinsburg, West Virginia company, Crim de la Crim, for the illegal removal and disposal of asbestos from a commercial building in Martinsburg, the Justice Department announced.
The six count indictment charges that Ambers Scott Rind, 56, Elaine C. Mauck, 56, and Jess W. Mauck, Jr., 58, violated the federal Clean Air Act by:
•using untrained workers to remove and dispose of asbestos from the building;
•failing to notify authorities of the renovation and failing to comply with various practices designed to control emissions of asbestos; and
•failing to have a foreman or supervisor overseeing the renovation who was trained in the handling of asbestos as well as knowledgeable about the hazards of asbestos and worker protection.
In October 2000, the indictment alleges that the defendants purchased a commercial building in Martinsburg, known as the "old Schewel building." According to the indictment, before beginning renovation, the defendants retained a consultant to determine if there was asbestos in the building. After his inspection, the consultant indicated that there was asbestos in the floor tile on two floors of the building and that only an asbestos abatement contractor could remove the asbestos. The consultant estimated that it would cost $20,000 to remove and dispose of the floor tile. After learning of the costs of hiring an asbestos abatement contractor, the indictment alleges that the defendants chose instead to hire untrained workers to remove and dispose of the tile.
Once the tile was removed, the indictment charges that the defendants directed workers to dispose of the tile at an illegal disposal site in Martinsburg. When state and federal officials learned of the disposal, the indictment alleges that the defendants lied to the state and the EPA inspector about their involvement.
"Our nation's clean air laws concerning asbestos cleanup and disposal exist to protect not only our air, but also the people who work in the industry. The Justice Department is committed to prosecuting cases in which human health is recklessly put in danger," said Tom Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.
If convicted the defendants face maximum fines of $250,000 for each violation and up to five years in prison. The case was investigated by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.