Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | June 7, 2010

Kentucky attorney Sanders says EPA hammers another mom and pop operation in West Virginia while apparently ignoring the acts and omissions of Massie Energy and BP.

A Beckley, West Virginia man pleaded guilty for his role in illegally storing hazardous waste. Christopher Shawn Mills, 36, admitted he was involved with chrome plating at Mills Plating shop located on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley from 2004 through 2006. According to court documents, Mills and his business partner, Rodney T. Hoffman, 43, also of Beckley, cleaned out plating tanks and stored the waste material on site without a permit. Both men admitted they were aware the waste material was hazardous when storing it in open containers and vats at the Robert C. Byrd Drive location from October 2006 to February 2007, when it was discovered by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Subsequently, the U.S. EPA cleaned up the site. Mills faces up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine per day of violation when he is sentenced on September 22, 2010. Hoffman previously pleaded guilty in April 2010 for his role in the offense. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 18, 2010.

The investigation was conducted by EPA, with assistance from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The prosecutions are being handled by Special Assistant United States Attorney Perry McDaniel and Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes. United States District Judge Irene C. Berger is presiding over the proceedings.

US EPA is apparently continuing to hammer “small-time” operators rather go against large corporate violators of environmental laws and regulations.  Hello mom and pop companies, EPA wants you rather than Massie Energy or BP Inc. Same old EPA under a new administration, which is a sad story for the general public and the environment.

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