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DELAWARE COMPANY SENTENCED TO $3.8 M FINE FOR VIOLATIONS IN ILLINOIS
Release Date: 11/09/2000
FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, NOV. 9, 2000
DELAWARE COMPANY SENTENCED TO $3.8 M FINE
FOR VIOLATIONS IN ILLINOIS
Chemetco, Inc., a Delaware corporation that owns a secondary copper smelter near Hartford, Ill., was sentenced on Oct. 30 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to pay a fine of $3,865,100 and pay $400,000 in restitution to Southwestern Illinois Resource Conservation and Development Authority. Chemetco previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, one count of violating the Clean Water Act, one count of making false statements to the U.S. EPA and one count of making false statements to the Army Corps of Engineers. The charges against Chemetco arose from the installation of a secret, illegal discharge pipe at Chemetco’s smelter near Hartford. The pipe was used over ten years (1986-1996) to discharge pollutants such as zinc, lead, and cadmium into Long Lake, a tributary of the Mississippi River. In sufficient quantities, lead, zinc, and cadmium can be harmful to fish and aquatic life and can make water undrinkable. The discharge of these pollutants was done without a permit under the Clean Water Act. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police, and the Illinois EPA. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois prosecuted the case.