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Oregon Man Sentenced in Illegal Paint Disposal Case

Release Date: 3/24/2005
Contact Information: Stacie Findon

March 24, 2005

Robert Patrick Mominee, of Salem, Ore., former technical director of Ponderosa Paint, in Boise, Idaho, was sentenced on March 10, in U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho in Boise for illegally transporting hazardous waste in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The defendant was ordered to serve five months in prison followed by five months of home detention. Mominee will also pay a $1,000 fine and serve 36 months supervised release.

In 2000, Mominee and his father-in-law Paul Woods had agreed with Ponderosa's owner Dennis Ellis to remove 4,500 gallons of out-of-date, mis-tinted and off-specification paint materials from Ponderosa Paint. Ellis was in the process of selling his company and wanted to avoid paying approximately $150,000 to dispose of the wastes. Therefore, he offered Mominee and Woods $1 per gallon to get rid of the wastes. The wastes were transported to Woods' residence in Wilder, Idaho, where the defendants had begun to burn them in a pit when their scheme was discovered. The illegal burning of waste paint materials in a pit can release hazardous chemicals into the air and may also contaminate groundwater.

The case was investigated by the Boise Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General, the Idaho State Police, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality with assistance from EPA's Idaho Operations Office and EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center. It was prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Boise.

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