New Baden Man Charged and Pleads Guilty to Asbestos Felony Offense
On March 1, 2018, Joseph Michael Kehrer was charged with the felony offense of failure to notify regulatory authorities prior to removing asbestos material, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Donald S. Boyce, announced today. Mr. Kehrer pled guilty to the charge. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 12, 2018, in the federal district court in Benton.
Mr. Kehrer admitted that around February and March of 2015, he was the owner of a building formerly used as the Okawville Elementary School in Okawville, Washington County, Illinois. During this time and during a renovation activity, Kehrer caused the removal of a combined amount of material containing asbestos greater than 160 square feet. Under such circumstances, he was required by law to notify regulatory authorities at least 10 working days prior to removing asbestos material. In this instance, the appropriate regulatory authority to have been notified was the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). Kehrer admitted to knowingly having failed to provide the prior notification to IEPA.
The offense of failure to notify regulatory authorities prior to removing asbestos material carries up to a maximum of five years of imprisonment, to be followed by up to three years of
supervised release and a fine up to $250,000.
The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William E. Coonan, with the assistance of David P. Mucha, Regional Criminal Enforcement Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.