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FISCAL YEAR: 2011
1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Andrew Costa
D.  Utah  2:09CR-00744
From May 2005 to August 2006, Costa owned two cargo trailers that contained 67 drums of liquid and dry chemical substances. Sometime around the beginning of May 2006, Costa moved the two trailers, with the drums inside, onto the shoulder of Wallace Road, a public road in Salt Lake City. He admitted he left them on the side of the road open and unsecured.

According to court documents, some of the contents of the drums spilled onto the road. A Salt Lake City parking enforcement officer came across the two trailers and noticed that the content from one of the drums in one of the trailers was leaking out onto the public street. The Salt Lake Valley Health Department and a Salt Lake City fire hazmat team responded to the incident. Hazardous waste found in some of the drums was traced back to Costa.

Costa admitted in his plea agreement that he abandoned the trailers on the road and that the chemical waste within several of the drums was hazardous under EPA standards. Costa also admitted he did not have a permit to dispose of hazardous waste.

September 30, 2009
Costa was charged with one count of violating RCRA {42 U.S.C. 6928(d)(2)(A) - knowingly treats, stores or disposes of any hazardous waste ... without a permit}.

CITATION: 42 U.S.C. 6928(d)(2)(A)
August 20, 2010
Costa pled guilty to the charge.


United States Attorney
District of Utah
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 20, 2010

NEWS RELEASE

DEFENDANT ADMITS LEAVING DRUMS OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES IN CARGO TRAILERS ON SHOULDER OF ROAD

SALT LAKE CITY – Andrew A. Costa, age 45, of Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty in federal court this week to one count of disposing of hazardous waste without a permit.

Costa admitted that from May 2005 to August 2006, he owned two cargo trailers that contained 67 drums of liquid and dry chemical substances. Sometime around the beginning of May 2006, Costa moved the two trailers, with the drums inside, onto the shoulder of Wallace Road, a public road in Salt Lake City. He admitted he left them on the side of the road open and unsecured.

According to court documents, some of the contents of the drums spilled onto the road. About June 21, 2006, a Salt Lake City parking enforcement officer came across the two trailers and noticed that the content from one of the drums in one of the trailers was leaking out onto the public street. The Salt Lake Valley Health Department and a Salt Lake City fire hazmat team responded to the incident. Hazardous waste was found in some of the drums that were traced back to Costa. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spent more than $70,000 to remove and cleanup the hazardous waste in the two trailers.

Costa admitted in his plea agreement that he abandoned the trailers on the road and that the chemical waste within several of the drums was hazardous under EPA standards. Costa also admitted he did not have a permit to dispose of hazardous waste.

"Illegally disposed hazardous waste presents a danger to public health and a threat to the environment," said Lori A. Hanson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement in the Denver region. "EPA will investigate those who refuse to follow the rules and will work tirelessly to see that they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

The plea agreement includes a sentencing recommendation of 21 months in federal prison and restitution in the amount of $70,392.51 to cover the cost of the clean-up. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson, who conducted the change of plea hearing Tuesday, set sentencing for Dec. 16, 2010, at 2 p.m.

December 14, 2010
Costa was sentenced to 21 months incarceration, 36 months probation and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $70,393 to the Environmental Protection Agency to help cover taxpayer costs associated with removing and cleaning up the hazardous waste.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEWS RELEASE

PRISON SENTENCE, FINE IMPOSED FOR DEFENDANT WHO LEFT DRUMS OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES ON ROAD

SALT LAKE CITY – Andrew A. Costa, age 45, of Salt Lake City, who pleaded guilty in federal court in August to one count of disposing of hazardous waste without a permit, will serve 21 months in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson, who issued the sentence Tuesday morning, also ordered Costa to pay $70,392.51 in restitution to the Environmental Protection Agency to help cover taxpayer costs associated with removing and cleaning up the hazardous waste.

“The sentence imposed today sends a message to all those who work with hazardous materials: paying the full price to properly dispose of hazardous waste is always cheaper than prison and paying for an environmental clean-up,” U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen said today.

"Hazardous wastes that are illegally disposed present a danger to public health and a threat to the environment," said Lori A. Hanson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement in the Denver region. "EPA will work to see that those who refuse to follow the rules are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Costa admitted that from May 2005 to August 2006, he owned two cargo trailers that contained 67 drums of liquid and dry chemical substances. Sometime around the beginning of May 2006, Costa moved the two trailers, with the drums inside, onto the shoulder of Wallace Road, a public road in Salt Lake City. He admitted he left them on the side of the road open and unsecured.

According to court documents, some of the contents of the drums spilled onto the road. A Salt Lake City parking enforcement officer came across the two trailers and noticed that the content from one of the drums in one of the trailers was leaking out onto the public street. The Salt Lake Valley Health Department and a Salt Lake City fire hazmat team responded to the incident. Hazardous waste found in some of the drums was traced back to Costa.

Costa admitted in his plea agreement that he abandoned the trailers on the road and that the chemical waste within several of the drums was hazardous under EPA standards. Costa also admitted he did not have a permit to dispose of hazardous waste.

Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office argued in a sentencing memorandum that 21 months of incarceration, agreed to as a part of the plea agreement in the case, reflects the serious nature of disposing of hazardous waste without a permit. Prosecutors also said the sentence provides a deterrent effect for those who may be considering whether to abandon hazardous waste they feel is too expensive to dispose of properly.

STATUTE:
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

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