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PA BARGE CLEANING FIRM PLEADS GUILTY
Release Date: 08/29/97
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 1997
BARGE CLEANING FIRM PLEADS GUILTY
On Aug. 20, T.T. Barge Cleaning Inc., which operates on the Mississippi River near Harahan, La., and in Westwego, La., pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Clean Water Act in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in New Orleans, La. The corporation admitted its employees illegally discharged untreated barge wash water containing traces of petroleum, vegetable products and chemical compounds including benzene, toluene, xylene, methanol, chlorine, glycol, ethanol and cleaning acids and solvents into the Mississippi River between 1986 and 1997. In addition, employees pushed dozens of 55-gallon drums containing rust, sludge, mud and scale into the river from barges or dockside facilities. The plea agreement recommends the company pay a $300,000 fine, be placed on probation for five years, conduct comprehensive environmental audits, institute employee training for handling and treating pollutants and hazardous wastes and pay to retrieve drums pushed into the river. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the Louisiana State Police, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the New Orleans Harbor Police.
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