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Release Date: 12/11/1996
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1064

Boston - The New England office of the Environmental Protection Agency today warned consumers of a mail fraud scheme that is sweeping the country. An Atlanta-based company calling itself the "United States Environmental Protection Enforcement Agency" has sent notices to numerous restaurants across the country notifying them that "Ark A. Williams, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Enforcement Agency" is collecting an annual registration fee under Section O.C.U.S. 608-82.156 of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act for Kitchen Hoods/Ventilation, Grease Traps, etc. The registration fee being demanded is $189.00 and due by December 15. The notice goes on to say that to disregard the notice will be at the recipient's "peril."

"This is a fraud and a scam," said John P. DeVillars, administrator for EPA's New England office. "We're aggressively pursuing the shakedown artist but businesses should know that the citations to the Clean Air act and the Clean Water Act referenced by this company are false. In fact, EPA requires no registration fees under either of these acts."

Citizens with additional information or who have received a solicitation are urged to contact the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General in Boston at (617) 565-3928.