FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2012
CAMDEN, N.J. – An Elmwood Park, N.J., charged with allegedly violating the federal Clean Air Act for improperly removing asbestos from a building made his initial appearance today before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced
Vele Bozinoski, 60, is charged in a seven-count Indictment with conspiracy and with violating the Clean Air Act’s asbestos work practice standards while removing insulation from piping at the former Garden State Paper Mill in Garfield, N.J., and with conspiring with others to commit that offense.
According to the Indictment:
In February 2007, Bozinoski hired workers to remove insulation at the former Garden State Paper Mill, a facility that contained more than 160 linear feet of asbestos-containing material. Bozinoski is charged with failing to follow Clean Air Act regulations, which required him to thoroughly inspect the facility for the presence of asbestos before removing insulation and to notify the Environmental Protection Agency of his intention to do so. He also failed to wet material containing asbestos before stripping it off pipes and other facility components, and to seal asbestos-containing debris in leak-tight containers until it was collected for disposal, as required by law.
The Indictment specifically charges Bozinoski with six counts of knowingly violating the Clean Air Act’s work asbestos work practice standards and one count of conspiracy to commit that offense.
Each charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; and special agents of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge William B. Lometti, with the investigation leading to the Indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen P. O'Leary of the U.S. Attorney's Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Lori M. Koch Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden