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Two California Men Indicted for Illegal Disposal of Lead and Asbestos

Release Date: 11/04/2003
Contact Information:

Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819 /

(11/04/03) John V. Finnerty of Lake Elsinore, Calif., former President of Remtech Restoration Corp. in Fullerton, Calif.; and Patrick J. Deegan of Corona, Calif., former Manager of Operations; were indicted on Oct. 29 on charges of violating the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Remtech Corp.’s business involved removal of asbestos and lead-containing materials. The defendants are accused of violating RCRA by allegedly abandoning lead-contaminated wastes in drums. Lead is a known toxic substance that can cause damage to the nervous system. The defendants are also accused of violating the CAA by allegedly dumping 800 bags of asbestos-containing material. The CERCLA violation was for alleged failure to notify authorities of the release of asbestos into the environment, which can cause asbestos fibers to become airborne. Inhalation of asbestos is a known cause of lung cancer, the lung disease “asbestosis,” and mesothelioma, cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Southern California Air Quality Management District. The defendants were indicted in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, and the case will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. An indictment is merely an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.