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JuLY 2007

Waste transporter pleads guilty in asbestos case

The owner and operator of a Maryland hazardous waste transporter pleaded guilty to knowingly making false statements in connection with the improper disposal of waste materials that contained asbestos.

Terrance Yates, owner and operator of Hazport Solutions Inc., pleaded guilty in United States District Court for the District of Maryland. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that the company falsified information on waste shipment records about the disposal of asbestos-containing materials.

From August 2004 through July 2006, Yates contracted with at least five hazardous waste removal companies to transport 12 to 17 trailers full of asbestos-containing waste materials from cleanup sites in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia to an EPA-approved landfill.

Some of the bags had been damaged, and loose debris that contained asbestos was found in the trailers. In addition, approximately 100 bags of asbestos material were discovered on the ground near the trailers at a service station storage yard in Severn, Maryland.

EPA started cleaning up the trailers last August. As part of the cleanup, the asbestos abatement contractors were required to remove and properly dispose of the waste materials. The EPA spent $57,000 on the cleanup, which was completed last December.

Yates faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for September 17.