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Virginia Company Sentenced for Illegal Transportation of Hazardous Materials

On September 16, 2016, Chemsolv was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Roanoke, Virginia, for the illegal transportation and storage of hazardous waste. Chemsolv, which operates a chemical blending and distribution facility in Roanoke, was sentenced to 5 years’ probation and ordered to pay a $1 million criminal fine, $250,000 in civil penalties, and $250,000 toward community service projects. The company was also mandated to implement a comprehensive Environmental and Safety Compliance Plan to prevent future violations. 
 
In June 2012, Chemsolv contacted an environmental cleanup company after 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, but the mixture was not properly tested to determine if it was hazardous. At the direction of Chemsolv employees, the material was classified as non-hazardous and transported to a disposal facility that was not permitted to handle hazardous waste. The containers and the transporting vehicle were not properly placarded as containing hazardous waste. 
 
In December 2013, Chemsolv was notified that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would conduct an inspection. At that time, Chemsolv stored numerous containers of chemical waste at its facility, which the company had previously been told was a violation. Chemsolv directed its employees to load three trailers with the containers and take them offsite to prevent EPA inspectors from discovering them. Two trailers were transported offsite. The third trailer was not roadworthy. It remained on the Chemsolv property from December 2013 until November 2014, when agents executed a search warrant and found the hazardous waste containers stored inside. 
 
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the EPA-Criminal Investigation Division.