HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Charles H. Bitner, Jr., age 45, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the President and Owner of Bitner Brothers Construction Company, Inc. (Bitner Brothers), located in Carlisle, entered a plea of guilty on May 22, 2018, on behalf of Bitner Brothers before United States Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson to violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Bitner Brothers was an experienced construction contractor certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a lead renovator since October 2010. Charles H. Bitner, Jr. was certified as a lead renovator by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since October 2010. The company pled guilty to violating applicable work practices enacted pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act governing the reduction of lead exposure during renovations at a residential facility, by conducting power grinding without a shroud or containment system equipped with HEPA vacuum of lead-based painted surfaces.
“By ignoring important rules regarding the presence of lead in older buildings, the defendant’s actions put children in the local community at risk for serious injury,” said Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Jennifer Lynn of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division in Pennsylvania. “Today’s plea should serve notice that anyone who fails to comply with critical environmental regulations that protect public health will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney William A. Behe is prosecuting the case.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is five years’ probation, and a $200,000 fine. Bitner Brothers Construction agreed not to be involved in lead abatement projects for the period of probation. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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