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Michigan Paint Manufacturer Faces Prison for Illegal Waste Storage

Release Date: 06/28/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Stacie Findon, 202-564-4355 /

(06/28/2005) Norman Solomon of Farmington Hills, Mich., president of Michigan Industrial Finishes Corporation, pleaded guilty on Feb. 25 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit to violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by illegally storing more than 2,000 55-gallon drums and other containers of highly-flammable paint-related solvents. In his plea, the defendant admitted to storing the drums illegally for more than 90 days a time between 1997 and 2004 despite the fact that he had entered into a consent decree with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in 1997 to resolve the storage issues. The ignitable spent solvents being stored illegally included xylene, toluene and methyl ethyl ketone. EPA estimates that Superfund cleanup costs at the site will be approximately $4 million. The case was investigated by the Detroit Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division acting in conjunction with the Southeast Michigan Multi-Agency Environmental Task Force. EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center provided technical support. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Detroit.