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1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Bernard Eugene (Ben) Fuhs
S.D.  Iowa  4:09-CR-95
Bernard E. Fuhs, owner and operator of Rainbow Services, LLC, was sentenced on April 29, 2010, to time served in prison (one day), three years of supervised release including 10 months of home confinement and $522,622.94 in restitution for knowing storage of hazardous waste without a permit. Fuhs generated and stored substances that are harmful to the others or the environment for Rainbow Services, a barrel cleaning company in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Fuhs pleaded guilty on November 20, 2009, in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Iowa. From December 2003 to November 2004, Fuhs used acids to wash barrels containing oils for Rainbow Services at 404 North Forrest Ave. in Ottumwa. He stored the waste on neighboring property, incurring clean-up costs of $522,622.94. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) prohibits the storage of listed hazardous waste without a permit. Fuhs stored ignitable and corrosive substances without a permit.

June 24, 2009
Fuhs was indicted on one count of violating RCRA {42 U.S.C. 6928(d)(2)(A) - knowingly treats, stores or disposes of hazardous waste ... without a permit}.

He pled guilty to the charge.

CITATION: 42 U.S.C. 6928(d)(2)(A)
April 29, 2010
Fuhs was sentenced to 6 months incarceration, 36 months probation and ordered to pay the victim $522,622 in restitution.

Southern District of Iowa
April 29, 2010


Ottumwa, Iowa – On April 29, 2010, Bernard Eugene Fuhs appeared before United States District Court Judge James E. Gritzner and was sentenced on his plea of guilty to storage of hazardous waste without a permit. The Court sentenced Fuhs to time served (1 day), followed by 3 years Supervised Release including a special condition of 10 months of home confinement. The Court also ordered Fuhs to pay restitution in the amount of $522,622.94 for the clean-up of the site.

In 2003 and 2004, Fuhs operated Rainbow Services, a drum and container reconditioning business that refurbished plastic and steel barrels located at 404 North Forrest Avenue, Ottumwa, Iowa. The business used, among other things, acids to wash the barrels. This process generated thousands of gallons of hazardous waste, which Fuhs did not have a permit to store. The hazardous waste had the substantial potential to be harmful to human health and the environment. Fuhs had this hazardous waste placed on a neighboring business’ property, which caused the owners to incurred clean-up costs of $522,622.94.

This case was investigated by The United States Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID), EPA Region 7, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

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