South Carolina Man Admits Illegally Storing Hazardous Waste At Camden, New Jersey, Chemical Company
CAMDEN, N.J. – The former president and CEO of Concord Chemical Co. Inc. (Concord) today admitted illegally storing hazardous waste, U.S Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Miguel Castillo, 63, of Hilton Head, South Carolina, pleaded guilty before Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to one count of storing hazardous waste at Concord’s Camden, New Jersey, facility in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
RCRA was enacted in 1976 to address a growing nationwide problem with industrial and municipal waste. RCRA was designed to protect human health and the environment by prohibiting the treatment, storage or disposal of any hazardous waste without a permit.
During its operation, Concord manufactured, repackaged and distributed a wide variety of chemical products, including cresylic acid, soaps, waxes, pipe lubricants and emulsions. Some of Concord’s products and the raw materials used to make them were hazardous. Castillo was Concord’s president or CEO from at least 2004 through August 2011.
As president and CEO, Castillo’s responsibilities included making decisions about the disposal of waste at the Camden facility. From at least 2005 through August 2010, Castillo knew that there were containers that stored hazardous waste at the Camden facility and that Concord did not have a permit to store such waste.
In August 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a site visit of the Camden facility and discovered that the facility was devoid of employees, abandoned in a deteriorated condition and filled with drums containing corrosive and ignitable hazardous waste. From October 2010 through March 2011, the EPA removed the hazardous substances from the facility.
The illegal storage of hazardous waste charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense. Castillo’s sentencing is set for Sept. 10, 2018.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the EPA, under the direction Special Agent in Charge Tyler Amon, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
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.
Defense counsel: Lisa Lewis Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden