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Executive of McWane Company Sentenced to Prison for Environmental Crimes

Charles Matlock, an executive with Springville, Utah-based Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Co., was sentenced in a federal court to 12 months and 1 day in prison and a $20,000 fine for violating the federal Clean Air Act.

Pacific States, which manufactures cast-iron pipe for the water and sewer industry, is a subsidiary of McWane Inc. a Birmingham Ala.-based cast-iron pipe-making company with a lengthy rap sheet of environmental and safety violations and convictions.

On Feb. 8, a federal judge sentenced McWane to pay a fine of $3 million the largest criminal environmental fine in Utah history and serve a 3-year period of probation, after it pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act. At that time, Matlock also pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act by rendering inaccurate a stack emissions test required under the act.

"[The] sentencing of the former vice president and general manager of Pacific States Pipe Company underscores McWane's lamentable record of serious environmental misconduct nationwide," said Granta Nakayama, EPA's assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance. "The message should be clear that prosecutions will go as high up the corporate hierarchy as the evidence permits and we will hold senior managers of corporations accountable, as well as the corporation itself. All company employees should definitely think twice about knowingly breaking the law because they should clearly understand that they will face incarceration and fines for harming the environment and putting the public at risk."

The sentencing of Matlock comes just a few weeks after a jury found another McWane subsidiary Phillipsburg, N.J.-based Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Co. and four of its officials guilty of committing egregious violations of safety and environmental laws. (For more, read "Atlantic States Verdict: Company, Four Officials Found Guilty.")

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