Louisiana business owner pleads guilty to improper disposal of hazardous waste

On behalf of Rock Palermo of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC posted in Environmental Law on August 29, 2012.

Earlier this month, a Louisiana business owner pleaded guilty to discharging hazardous waste into public water system.

It's always good to hear news like this because it reminds us that those unscrupulous people who would cut corners and damage Louisiana's environment to serve their own self-interest do not always get away with it.

The man owned a dry-cleaning business in Lafayette. The hazardous waste at issue here is often referred to as PERC. That's an abbreviation for perchloroethylene, a chemical that is commonly used in the dry-cleaning business. Any business that uses PERC is required by law to engage a disposal company to get rid of the PERC safely.

Under his guilty plea, he admitted that he did not properly train his employees when it came to disposing of hazardous waste and failed to ensure "the proper and lawful disposal or waste waters." Evidently, the dry-cleaning business had not worked with a disposal company since February 2007. Instead, employees of the business were storing hazardous waste in Tupperware-like containers before flushing it down a toilet.

Although every victory like this counts, it's safe to say that we are always going to have to be vigilant. Louisiana faces many environmental threats, from unethical oil and gas companies to potential dangers to landowners' rights posed by polluting factories and industrial facilities. We wish that everyone treated the environment and common resources like air and water with respect they deserve, but we just know that they don't. That is a big part of why we have committed our careers to helping Louisiana landowners in environmental law matters.

Source: KATC-TV, "Owner pleads guilty to negligently discharging hazardous waste," Aug. 2, 2012

Tags: Environmental Law

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