Investigations

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American Airlines Holding Company Pleads Guilty to Mishandling Hazardous Waste at Miami International Airport

AMR Corp., American Airlines’ holding company, pleaded guilty to storing hazardous waste illegally
and agreed to pay a fine of $6 million and pay another $2 million as community service. The plea,
entered in Federal court in Miami, marked the first time a major air carrier pleaded guilty and accepted
responsibility in a hazardous-waste case. AMR admitted its employees extinguished a July 1995
fire caused by a chemical spill, then illegally stored the remaining 100 pounds of the chemical at
Miami International Airport for more than 3 years. AMR further admitted the violation of the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act was part of a 5-year pattern of conduct. In addition to the
$6 million fine and $2 million payment to the Miami-Dade County Fire Department’s hazardous materials
response unit, AMR must upgrade its security and procedures. The case represents the
largest dollar recovery related to hazardous materials in the history of U.S. aviation.