News and Press Releases

iowa company, employees indicted for releasing contaminated water into duenweg sewer

June 12, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Des Moines, Iowa, company and two of its employees were indicted by a federal grand jury today for releasing thousands of gallons of gasoline-contaminated water into the city sewer system of Duenweg, Mo.

Seneca Companies, Inc., a petroleum and hazardous materials handling company headquartered in Des Moines, along with company employees Robert Morrison, 31, of Cowgill, Mo., a maintenance technician, and Greg Gill, 50, of Overland Park, Kan., a maintenance technician supervisor, were charged in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield.

According to today’s indictment, Seneca agreed to repair a gasoline line at Casey’s General Store, 8084 E., 7th Street, in Duenweg. This gasoline line failure had allowed gasoline to accumulate into a containment sump on Casey’s property. Morrison and Gill were responsible for safely repairing Casey’s gasoline line failure and safely disposing of any hazardous material in conformity with state and federal regulations.

On Dec. 16, 2010 they allegedly pumped gasoline-contaminated water out of Casey=s containment sump and into the sewer system without a permit.

The defendants are charged with one count of violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by unlawfully disposing of a hazardous substance and one count of violating the Clean Water Act by introducing a hazardous substance into a sewer system.

Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Abram McGull II. It was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Criminal Investigation Division, the Duenweg, Mo., Fire Department, the Joplin, Mo., Fire Department and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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