Three Michigan men charged with hazardous waste dumping

On Aug. 27, William Ort of Melvindale, Mich., Michael Rowley of Hudson, Mich., and Lamoin Caskey of Fayette, Ohio, were charged in Lenawee County District Court in Adrian, Mich., in a case involving the alleged transportation and disposal of hazardous wastes in violation of state law.


Sept. 18, 2003 -- On Aug. 27, William Ort of Melvindale, Mich., Michael Rowley of Hudson, Mich., and Lamoin Caskey of Fayette, Ohio, were charged in Lenawee County District Court in Adrian, Mich., in a case involving the alleged transportation and disposal of hazardous wastes in violation of state law.

The complaint alleges that, in February, Ort hired Rowley to dispose of 16 drums of liquid waste from a welding and machining shop in River Rouge, Mich. Analysis of the contents indicated the drums contained benzenes, industrial oils, metals, tetrachloroethylene, toluene and xylene. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens.

The charges allege Rowley hired Caskey to assist him in loading the waste in a trailer and hauling it behind Caskey's truck. While driving the trailer, it broke loose from the truck and crashed on Sutton Road in Raisin Charter Township, Mich. After the crash, Rowley and Caskey removed the license plate from the trailer and fled, leaving the wastes abandoned. If convicted on all charges, each defendant faces a maximum of up to one year in prison per count and/or a fine of up to $50,000.

The case was investigated by the Cleveland Area Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Office of Criminal Investigations and the Raisin Charter Township Department of Public Safety with the assistance of EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center. The case is being prosecuted by the Lenawee County District Attorney's Office in Adrian, Mich.

The filing of charges is merely an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.


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