Pennsylvania Man Sentenced for Dumping Hazardous Waste

A Pennsylvania man reponsible for the illegal disposal of more than 160,000 gallons of hazardous waste was sentenced to 40 to 80 months in jail for his crime.

A Beaver County, Penn., man responsible for the illegal disposal of more than 160,000 gallons of hazardous waste was sentenced to 40 to 80 months in jail for his crime.

"This is one of the longest sentences for an environmental crime ever handed down in Pennsylvania," said Mike Fisher, Pennsylvania attorney general. "I believe that this tough sentence was appropriate, given the amount of pollution in this case."

Beaver County President Judge Robert C. Reed on Monday sentenced Gilbert N. Darnley of Greene Township, to 40 to 80 months in prison.

On Jan. 3, Darnley pleaded guilty to five counts of environmental crimes.

According to Fisher, Darnley operated a waste oil recycling business, Petroleum Recovery Service, in Greene Township.

From 1988 to 1996, Darnley contracted with various businesses to remove hazardous waste, which was often contained in 55-gallon drums.

Instead of properly taking the waste to legitimate recycling or disposal facilities, as Darnley told his clients he would, he took the waste to one of his sites.

At the site, Darnley dumped the drums on the ground and also poured the waste into deteriorating drums and used storage tanks.

Officials with the state Department of EPA found more than 1,000 drums, many of them rusted and leaking at the site.

Fisher said officials also discovered 20 above-ground or partially buried storage tanks, some of which were leaking.

The soil was saturated with waste and potentially explosive combinations of hazardous waste.

In addition to jail time, Darnley will pay $1.9 million in restitution to the state of Pennsylvania for the clean-up of the hazardous waste site.

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