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Virginia Chemical Company Pleads Guilty to Illegal Transportation of Hazardous Waste

On December 22, 2015, CHEM-SOLV pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Roanoke, Virginia, to illegal transportation and storage of hazardous waste. CHEM-SOLV operates a chemical blending and distribution facility in Roanoke.

In June 2012, CHEM-SOLV contacted an environmental cleanup company after CHEM-SOLV employees spilled several hundred gallons of ferric chloride. Approximately 4,500 pounds of ferric chloride mixture were vacuumed and put into five 275-gallon containers. The ferric chloride mixture was not properly tested to determine if it exhibited hazardous characteristics. At the direction of CHEM-SOLV employees, the material was then classified as non-hazardous and transported to a waste disposal facility which was not permitted to handle hazardous wastes. As a result, the containers and the transporting vehicle were not properly placarded as containing hazardous waste.

In December 2013, CHEM-SOLV was notified that the EPA would conduct an inspection. At that time, CHEM-SOLV was storing numerous containers of chemical waste at its facility, and they were previously told that it was a violation to store chemical waste there. CHEM-SOLV directed its employees to load three trailers with the chemical waste so that they could be taken offsite in order to prevent EPA inspectors from discovering the containers. Two of the three trailers were transported offsite. The third trailer, which was not road-worthy, was stored on the CHEM-SOLV property. The investigation revealed that the third trailer remained on CHEM-SOLV's property from December 2013 until November 2014, when agents executed a search warrant on the third trailer and found the hazardous waste containers stored inside.

We are working this investigation jointly with the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division.