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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

KC Man Indicted for Illegally Transporting, Dumping Hazardous Waste

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for illegally transporting and dumping hazardous waste.

John Schaller, 50, of Kansas City, was charged in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo. Schaller owned and operated R.E.I.T., a computer recycling company at 1534 Burlington St., North Kansas City, Mo.

According to the federal indictment, Schaller was hired by an employee and agent of Z-International, which used large quantities of ink and ink-related products in its business of making labels, to liquidate the property in its building at 110 E. 16th Ave., Kansas City, Mo, when the business was closed in July 2010. As part of the liquidation job, Schaller was required to dispose of several barrels of ink or other liquids.

Schaller allegedly dumped approximately 23 containers of hazardous materials at Studer Container Service, 520 Madison Ave., Kansas City, Mo., in December 2011 without knowing if Studer had sufficient authorization to accept hazardous waste. Schaller did not hold a permit authorizing the transportation, storage or disposal of hazardous waste, the indictment says, and Studer did not have a permit to receive hazardous waste.

Studer is located in a high traffic area frequented by passers-by, including pedestrians, vehicles and bicycles. Schaller made no attempt or inquiry to determine whether Studer had sufficient authorization to accept the containers, the indictment says. Schaller allegedly did not employ the transportation of hazardous waste via manifest as required by law.

EPA began a sampling and clean-up operation at Studer on June 28, 2012. The EPA Superfund Program cleaned up the hazardous waste at Studer to eliminate possible adverse effects on human health and environment. The total EPA Superfund cost was $36,871. Of the 38 samples collected from the containers dumped at Studer, five tested positive for ignitability and two tested positive for toxicity.

Today’s indictment charges Schaller with one count of unlawfully transporting hazardous waste and one count of unlawfully disposing of hazardous waste.

Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Pansing Brown. It was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division.
Updated January 9, 2015