Three employees of Industrial Fabrication and Repair Inc., pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges of conspiracy and violating the Clean Water Act.
George Boud Jr., of East Alton, Ill., Kevin A. Youngman of Highland, Ill., and Bruce W. Hendrickson, of Granite City, Ill., worked for Industrial Fabrication, a company that was privately owned by Ira S. Campbell.
Campbell was also the supervisor of maintenance at a copper smelter owned by Chemetco Inc., Hartford, Ill.
In 1986, Campbell directed the three men to install a secret discharge pipe at Chemetco's smelter.
From September 1986 through September 1996, the pipe was used to discharge pollutants, such as zinc, lead and cadmium into Long Lake, a tributary of the Mississippi River.
Lead, zinc and cadmium can be harmful to fish and aquatic life and can make water unfit for consumption by humans, birds or wildlife if taken in sufficient quantities.
When sentenced, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000.