Former Owner of Environmental Services Company Indicted for Illegally Disposing of Hazardous Waste
LEXINGTON, Ky. – A federal grand jury in Lexington, Ky., returned an indictment against a former central Kentucky businessman on one count of conspiracy and seven counts of environmental law crimes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
The indictment, returned on Thursday, specifically charges Kenneth Gravitt with illegal storage, transportation and disposal of a hazardous waste.
Kenneth Gravitt was the owner and operator of Global Environmental Services (GES), which operated at sites in Georgetown, Cynthiana, and Winchester. In 2013, GES began recycling Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs), which are the vacuum video tubes inside older box televisions and computer monitors. Because CRTs contain large amounts of lead, their disposal presents a potential environmental hazard and is regulated by RCRA. Lead is extremely toxic and can cause serious health problems upon exposure, and therefore must be disposed in a particular way that is safe for the community.
According to the indictment, GES received for recycling many more loads of CRTs than it could process and disposed of numerous CRTs illegally. Specifically, Gravitt, aided and abetted by others, allegedly transported the CRTs to a Georgetown landfill that did not have a permit to handle hazardous waste; stored ground-up CRT glass containing excessive amounts of lead in large, open, outdoor piles; and put thousands of CRTs and glass in a large hole that had been dug behind the Georgetown facility, all in violation of federal environmental laws.
Carlton S. Shier IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky made the announcement today.
If Gravitt is convicted, the maximum punishment on each count is 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The investigation was conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division. The case was presented to the grand jury by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ken Taylor and Erin Roth.
Any sentence upon conviction will come after the Court considers the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statue.