GOV TDD (202) 514-1888 DENVER RECYCLING FACILITY CHARGED WITH KNOWINGLY ENDANGERING EMPLOYEES NEWELL RECYCLING, INC. a Denver scrap metal recycler, was charged today with knowingly endangering its employees by storing discarded gasoline in a pit without taking proper precautions, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney for Colorado announced today. Three employees were injured when the gas caught fire. "There is no excuse for knowingly endangering workers through illegal hazardous waste storage," said Lois J. Schiffer, Assistant Attorney General for Environment and Natural Resources. "Those who do so will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted." As part of its scrap metal recycling business, NEWELL RECYCLING took in crushed cars with gasoline still in the tanks. According to the seven-count indictment handed up today in U.S. District Court in Denver, NEWELL RECYCLING punctured the gasoline tanks, allowed the discarded gasoline to drain into a pit on its property and also disposed discarded gasoline near the pit. The alleged activity took place for at least two years. Federal law prohibits storing and disposing gasoline without a permit. Employees were required to work in the pit exposed to liquid containing gasoline and gasoline fumes without proper protective equipment. According to the indictment, three employees were burned and/or scarred in a fire sparked by gas fumes in the pit. All three were hospitalized. Also charged with illegal storage and disposal of the discarded gasoline were GILBERT ROBERT TRIESCH, JR., Vice-President of NEWELL, JOE L. FULTON, VicePresident and General Manager of NEWELL, and DAVID TEAGUE, Yard Foreman of NEWELL. The indictment says the three managers allowed cars into the facility with gasoline still in the tanks, and then illegally stored and disposed of the gasoline. The company and three managers were also charged with conspiracy to

store and dispose of the hazardous waste. According to U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado Henry L. Solano, federal law enforcement authorities in Colorado are aggressively pursuing individuals and businesses that mishandle hazardous wastes and that intentionally endanger workers. If convicted, the company faces a maximum fine of up to $1 million dollars for the knowing endangerment and up to $50,000 per day of storage and disposal or $500,000 per count for the additional charges. The individuals face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 per day of storage and disposal or $250,000 per count for the illegal storage and disposal charges. The investigation was conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. ### 98-383