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Fourth Defendant Charged in Minnesota Plating Case

Release Date: 09/15/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: Rich Hood 202-564-4355 /

(09/15/04) James K. Meissner, a former employee of Prime Plating of Maple Grove, Minn., was charged on Sept. 2 in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in Minneapolis with conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act (CWA). Previously, Prime Plating, Scott Hanson, Prime Plating's Owner; and two other individuals, Sam Opare-Addo and Arlynn Hanson were also charged with CWA violations in this case. Prime plating is in the metal finishing business. The charges allege that the conspiracy took place in June and July of 2003, when the defendants allegedly conspired to discharge industrial wastewater from the Prime Plating facility in order to allow the business to continue operations even thought it did not have a functioning pre-treatment system for its waste as required by the Metropolitan Council. The defendants allegedly discharged untreated wastewater directly into sewers using pumps and garden hoses. In addition, Prime Plating, Hanson and Opare-Addo allegedly conspired to hide the illegal discharges from state and federal regulators. Discharging plating wastes into sewers can prevent the proper treatment of sewage at sewage treatment facilities. The case was investigated by the Minneapolis Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, the FBI, the Metropolitan Council's Environmental Service Division for the St. Paul/Minneapolis Area and the Hennepin County Department of Environmental Services with the assistance of EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center and the City of Bloomington, Minnesota's Fire Department, Police Department and Emergency Response Division. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minneapolis.