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Phosphorus manufacturer sentenced to pay $18M in criminal fines and restitution, clean up site
Release Date: 4/29/2004
- Denver - Chief U.S. District Court Judge Donald W. Molloy (D-Mont) today sentenced Rhodia Inc. to pay a total of $18 million in criminal fines and restitution as a result of its guilty pleas previously entered on January 14, 2004, to two felony violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
Specifically, Rhodia was ordered to pay a $16.2 million fine and to make restitution to the State of Montana in the amount of $1.8 million. Rhodia is also required to perform remediation of all hazardous wastes at the Silver Bow Plant. The remediation plan must be in accordance with orders by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under RCRA and requires EPA approval. Rhodia is subject to five years probation and the probation period could be extended if remediation takes longer than five years.
The criminal fine is the largest ever paid for criminal environmental violations in the District of Montana, and is the second largest ever paid for hazardous waste crimes in the U.S.
EPA Regional Administrator Robert E. Roberts said, “The substantial fine and restitution ordered by Judge Molloy today comes after an outstanding joint effort between EPA, DOJ and the State of Montana. This sentence should send a clear and strong message to companies handling hazardous waste that if they violate laws designed to protect public health and the environment, they will be prosecuted and held accountable for their illegal activities. The site clean-up ordered by EPA and made a part of the company’s probation will ensure a cleaner environment for the citizens of Montana.”
EPA and Montana Department of Environmental Quality executed a search warrant at the Silver Bow Plant.