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Press Release

Premier Aviation Pleads Guilty to Environmental Crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Airplane Maintenance Facility in Rome, New York, to Pay $40,000 Fine

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Premier Aviation Overhaul Center, an airplane maintenance and painting company with a facility in Rome, New York, pled guilty today to omitting material information regarding hazardous waste on a trash compactor label, and was sentenced to pay a fine of $40,000.


The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; Tyler Amon, Special Agent in Charge for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID) in New York; and Joseph H. Schneider, Director of Law Enforcement, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).


Premier Aviation admitted that in February 2014, one or more of its employees placed large sheets of plastic containing hazardous chromium waste into a large trash compactor without updating the labels on the trash compactor to disclose the presence of hazardous waste inside.  The chromium waste was generated when Premier Aviation stripped paint from older airplanes, and it remained stored in the trash compactor – which was not an appropriate means of disposal for the hazardous waste – for approximately two weeks prior to being seized by law enforcement. Subsequent tests revealed that the levels of chromium on the plastic sheets in the trash compactor were approximately 23 times higher than the legal limit.  Premier Aviation admitted that it failed to report that one or more of its employees had stored and maintained chromium illegally in the trash compactor. Premier Aviation pled guilty to being an accessory after the fact to this environmental crime.


United States Magistrate Judge Thérèse Wiley Dancks sentenced Premier Aviation to pay a $40,000 fine.  In its plea agreement the company also agreed to provide the EPA with quarterly statistics specifying the hazardous waste generated, stored, and disposed at its facility, to provide specific waste and emergency response training to all of its employees who handle paint, paint stripping processes, or any other hazardous waste materials, and to abide by a Hazardous Waste Reduction Plan, which was drafted by Premier Aviation and approved by EPA and DEC prior to the plea hearing.  In addition, Premier Aviation agreed to allow EPA-CID and DEC to inspect its facility in Rome, and its compliance with the terms of the plea agreement and with all applicable laws and regulations, at any time, and without notice, until September 30, 2018.


This case was investigated by EPA-CID and DEC, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael F. Perry.

Updated November 1, 2017