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NORTH DAKOTA MAN AND COMPANY CHARGED WITH ASBESTOS VIOLATION
Release Date: 09/11/98
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 1998
NORTH DAKOTA MAN AND COMPANY CHARGED WITH
Jerry L. Meide, owner and operator of Meide and Son Inc., in Wahpeton, N.D., and his company were charged with violating the Clean Air Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Recovery Act (CERCLA) and with conspiracy in an indictment that was unsealed on Sept. 2, in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota in Bismarck. Meide is the first individual to be charged with a federal environmental crime in North Dakota. The indictment alleges that the defendants employed uncertified individuals to remove asbestos-containing material from several buildings that were undergoing renovation in Wahpeton. In addition, the employees were not provided with the proper clothing and equipment to protect them from airborne asbestos fibers. The asbestos-containing material was also allegedly disposed of in a trash dumpster. Exposure to sufficient quantities of airborne asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, a lung disease known as “asbestosis” and mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer of the chest cavity. If convicted on all charges, Meide faces a maximum of up to five years imprisonment and/or fines of up to $250,000 on the Clean Air Act charge plus additional penalties for the other charges. Meide and Son Inc. faces a maximum fine of up to $500,000 on the Clean Air Act charge plus additional penalties for the other offenses, if convicted on all charges. This case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the North Dakota Department of Health and the Wahpeton Police Department.