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Former Curry Companies’ Consultant Sentenced, Fined for Illegal Dumping

March 17, 2008

Springfield, Ill. - A former consultant for Curry Ready Mix and Builders’ Supply, Inc., Gerald Lippold, of Carlinville, Illinois, was sentenced today to serve four months home confinement followed by a term of probation, and was ordered to pay a fine of $100,000 for illegally dumping boron-contaminated water into protected waters. U.S. District Judge Jeanne E. Scott ordered that the first four months of Lippold’s 18 months term of probation be served under home confinement.

Judge Scott previously ordered Curry Office Supply, Inc., a subsidiary of Curry Ready Mix and Builders’ Supply, Inc., to pay a fine of $50,000 and serve three years probation for negligent discharge of boron-contaminated water to streams which flow into the Sangamon River. The company pled guilty in January 2007 to discharging water containing boron into tributaries of the Sangamon River without a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

In March and April 2001, Curry accepted and used approximately 35,000 tons of coal power plant combustion byproducts (fly ash and bottom ash waste) to fill a large excavation at 3600 North Dirksen Parkway, in Springfield. In April 2001, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency told Curry to stop accepting the waste product, and at IEPA’s instruction, Curry agreed to remove the ash to a coal mine in Elkhart, Illinois. At Curry’s request, Lippold assumed responsibility for removal of the ash and was paid per load for its removal. Contrary to IEPA’s instruction, however, not all of the ash was removed and some remained buried at the site.

Rainwater began filling the large excavation and boron leached from the ash into water that had accumulated in the excavation. By 2003, approximately two million gallons of boron-contaminated water had accumulated at the Curry excavation. Beginning in February 2002 and continuing until the summer of 2003, Lippold, acting as an agent for Curry, assumed general responsibility for supervising the removal and disposal of the boron-contaminated water. Lippold and Curry were advised that the contaminated water could not be discharged into streams without a permit. However, beginning in March or April 2003, and continuing until June 2003, Lippold caused some of the boron-contaminated water to be discharged improperly by Curry’s employees into streams in the vicinity of the Curry facility without a permit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Chesley and the investigative agents of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and the Illinois State Police prosecuted the case.

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