Tennessee metal treating company and president sentenced

Jan. 21, 2003
Moore, McMillen Inc. and its president pled guilty to negligent violations of the Clean Water Act and were sentenced on Jan. 9 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.

Jan. 21, 2003 -- Moore, McMillen Inc. (MMI), and MMI's President William Moore, both of Sevierville, Tenn., each pled guilty to negligent violations of the Clean Water Act and were sentenced on Jan. 9 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville.

The defendants operated a metal-plating business, which used a salt-bath nitrating process to treat automobile valves and other metal products to make them stronger and more corrosion resistant.

The defendants admitted they failed to properly manage resultant sludge from the MMI treatment process and some of that sludge went into a drainage ditch, which leads to the east prong of the Little Pigeon River.

The sludge contained a hazardous level of chromium and a measurable amount of cyanide, both of which can harm fish and aquatic life. In addition, the sludge was quite caustic when combined with water, another risk for fish and aquatic organisms.

Moore was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. MMI will pay $100,000 in restitution to the City of Sevierville Water Systems and $100,000 to the Tennessee Valley Authority Police.

MMI has also spent $384,500 to develop systems that will bring it into full compliance with environmental laws.

The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division acting with other members of the East Tennessee Environmental Crimes Task Force and with the assistance of EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Greenville.

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