Cape Cod Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Disposing Of Hazardous Waste

A Cape Cod resident pleaded guilty this in federal court to illegally disposing of a mercury-based fungicide on National Park Service property.

United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Michael E. Hubbard, special agent in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Criminal Investigation Division for New England, said Michael A. Raasch, age 45, of Brewster, Ma., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro to one count of illegally disposing of hazardous waste without a permit in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

At the plea hearing, the prosecutor told the court that, had the case gone to trial the evidence would have shown that Raasch was employed as the golf course superintendent at the Chequessett Yacht and Country Club in Wellfleet, Ma. On April 4, 2000, Raasch disposed of a four-pound bag of Calo-Gran, a mercury-based fungicide, by dumping it in a deserted location near the sixth fairway, a location that is owned by the National Park Service. The fungicide contained concentrations of mercury far in excess of permitted levels.

Judge Tauro scheduled sentencing for Dec. 17, 2002. Raasch faces up to five years' imprisonment, to be followed by three years' supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the National Park Service investigated the case.

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