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FISCAL YEAR: 2012
1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Kaara L. Doolin-Smith
W.D.  North Carolina  3-11-CR-146-RJC
2. DEFENDANT: Brian Smith
    


In October 2010, Charlotte CID received information regarding the abandonment of over 150 containers of waste in four units of a public storage unit facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. The four storage units were leased by a registered hazardous waste transportation company, Dove Environmental Management, Inc., (Dove). EPA OSC responded and sampled the containers and returned 91 (or 58%) containers which contained substances regulated under RCRA, as hazardous waste. Several generators listed on the containers stated that Dove was contracted to remove and dispose of the waste, as far back as 2007, and most had not received a return manifest for the ultimate disposal.

Brian and Kaara Smith were the owners of Dove. The last recorded access activity to the storage units by Dove was in April 2010, with the last payment to the facility in July 2010.



May 17, 2011
Kaara Smith 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)
June 14, 2011
Kaara Smith pled guilty to the charge.

September 28, 2011
Brian Smith was charged with one count of violating RCRA {42 U.S.C. 6928(d)(2)(A)}.

He pled guilty to the charge.


Western District of North Carolina
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 28, 2011

TWO PLEAD GUILTY TO HAZARDOUS WASTE FELONIES

Defendants Stored the Hazardous Materials in Public Rental Storage Units

CHARLOTTE, NC – Brian K. Smith, 46, of Wood River, IL, pled guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer to a charge of unlawful storage and disposal of a hazardous waste, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Kaara Doolin-Smith, 40, of Sanford, FL, who was charged separately, entered a plea of guilty to the same charge on June 14, 2011.

Joining U.S. Attorney Tompkins in making today’s announcement are Special Agent in Charge Maureen O’Mara of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID) of the Atlanta Area Office, and Donnie Varnell, Special Agent in Charge of the Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NC SBI).

According to the criminal bill of information filed in September 2011 and related court proceedings, from July to November 2010 the defendants, who were married at the time, were the owner-employees of Dove Environmental Management (“Dove”), a licensed hazardous waste transporter. During that time, contrary to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the defendants unlawfully stored more than 90 containers of regulated hazardous waste materials in public rental storage units. The containers were discovered during an inspection in October 2010 by the rental facility, after Dove failed to make numerous monthly payments. North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR), Hazardous Waste Section, was notified and the investigation prompted an emergency response by EPA Superfund’s Emergency Response and Removal Branch. Several generators listed on the hazardous waste containers advised that they had contracted with Dove to remove and dispose of the waste as far back as 2007. “The illegal storage of hazardous materials by the defendants in a location that was not designed for such material posed a serious risk to our environment and the public. Our office is committed to prosecuting violators who ignore environmental laws and regulations and endanger the environment and the health of our community,” stated U.S. Attorney Tompkins. “Hazardous waste must be handled and disposed of safely and legally in order to protect both the public and the environment," said Special Agent in Charge O’Mara. “Using storage units as an alternative to a licensed hazardous waste disposal site is illegal and dangerous and required a costly cleanup at the expense of others. Those who break the law rather than dispose of hazardous waste properly will be prosecuted.”

The defendants remain free on bond pending their sentencing dates, which have not been set yet. The defendants face a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a $50,000 fine per day of violation, and a term of supervised release. Ms. Tompkins commended the investigative efforts of the EPA-CID, NC SBI Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit, and NC DENR’s Hazardous Waste Section. The case is prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven Kaufman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.

August 28, 2012
Kaara Smith was sentenced to 24 months probation including six months home detention, 80 hours of community service, ordered to pay a $150 court fee and $32,143.36 in restitution, as follows:
  • $17,643 for the compliance and disposal of the hazardous waste
  • $14,500 in legal fees (75%) incurred by the victim

Both Kaara Doolin-Smith and Brian Smith were held jointly and severally liable for the restitution.

September 27, 2012
Brian K. Smith was sentenced to 24 months probation, ordered to pay a $2,000 federal fine and $17,643 in restitution for the compliance and disposal of RCRA materials, as well as, $14,500 in legal fees, 75% of what the victim incurred.

The defendants were held jointly and severally liable for the restitution.

STATUTE:
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

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