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PA DEVELOPER PLEADS TO ILLEGAL PCB STORAGE
Release Date: 05/05/97
FOR RELEASE: MONDAY, MAY 5, 1997
DEVELOPER PLEADS TO ILLEGAL PCB STORAGE
Gordon Laird of Bellingham, Wash., the controlling partner in Anacortes Joint Ventures, pleaded guilty in Seattle at the U.S. District Court of Western Washington, to two counts of illegally storing oil contaminated with Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and one TSCA violation involving the illegal disposal of PCB transformers. PCBs have been identified as a potential cause of cancer in people. Laird elected to illegally dispose of eleven transformers after he had them tested for PCBs and received a price quote of $29,963 for proper disposal. To save money, Laird arranged for disposal by a scrap metal dealer who was not certified to dispose of PCBs. The scrap metal dealer salvaged the transformers but saved the PCB oil. The dealer brought 14 drums of PCB oil back to Laird's facility in Anacortes where many of these drums were then illegally stored. The remainder of the drums were found in a rental truck that was abandoned in Mount Vernon, Wash. As part of the plea agreement, a PCB contamination assessment will be conducted on both Laird's property and the property of the scrap metal dealer where the transformers were salvaged. When sentenced, Laird may receive up to one year imprisonment on each TSCA count. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the Washington State Department of Ecology.
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