November 2005

Florida Man pleads guilty in hazardous waste case

Washington, DC— A guilty plea to charges of violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by Joel D. Udell of Boca Raton, Florida, and two companies he owned in Ambler, Pennsylvania, Pyramid Chemical Sales Co., and Nittany Warehouse LP, was announced on September 13 in Philadelphia.

The plea agreement calls for the defendants to pay 1,017,557 Euros to the Netherlands for cleanup costs and to also reimburse the United States for approximately $150,000 in Superfund cleanup oversight costs at the Nittany Warehouse in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Additional penalties may be ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at the time of sentencing. In June 2000, the EPA declared Nittany Warehouse a Superfund Site and ordered the defendants to clean up numerous containers of hazardous waste. Instead of cleaning up, the defendants illegally shipped some of the wastes to the Netherlands and sold some of it to facilities in the United States, falsely claiming it was new, unused product rather than hazardous waste.

The government of the Netherlands and the American companies that received the waste wound up paying for its proper disposal.

The case was investigated by the Philadelphia Office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Netherlands Ministry of the Environment, the Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and the Borough of Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

Investigative assistance was provided by EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania with assistance from criminal enforcement counsel from EPA Region 3.


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