July 27, 2017
Idaho Man Charged with Violating the Clean Water Act
On July 27, 2017, James Findlay of Meridian, Idaho, was charged by information in U.S. District Court, Boise, Idaho, with violations of the Clean Water Act. Findlay was the owner and operator of Sawtooth Fusion, LLC, a medical research company that he operated out of his apartment.
The investigation revealed that between 2012 and 2014, Findlay obtained and stored quantities of depleted uranium and uranium powder. He purchased and transported depleted uranium from an aircraft salvage company in large blocks with a combined weight of approximately 50 pounds. He chemically extracted uranium through a process that included soaking the items in muriatic acid. At the end of the chemical process, Findlay discharged some of the materials into a sink in his apartment and into the Boise sewer system. At no time did Boise Public Works authorize, permit, or approve Findlay’s discharge of the materials into the sewer system.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation jointly with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Office of Investigations.