Earlier this month, Ricky Rushing and his company, Technic Services Inc. (TSI), were sentenced for illegally removing and disposing of asbestos at the Alaska Pulp Mill in Sitka, Alaska.
Rushing was sentenced to 57 months incarceration, ordered to pay a fine of $520,000 and serve three years probation.
He was previously convicted by a jury of violating the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), as well as for obstruction of justice.
TSI, which was convicted of violating the CAA and CWA, was sentenced to pay a fine of $600,000 and must serve five years probation.
During the illegal asbestos removal at the pulp mill, substantial amounts of asbestos-contaminated slurry was rinsed into floor drains emptying directly into Silver Bay.
Rushing also directed his employees to sign documents disavowing any knowledge of those practices.
Likewise, Rushing induced his employees to remove or otherwise tamper with their personal monitors that indicated asbestos exposure levels.
Improper asbestos removal practices can lead to inhalation of asbestos fibers, which can cause a lung disease known as "asbestosis," and mesothelioma, a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities.
by Virginia Sutcliffe