Monday, January 16, 2006

Plating Shop Supervisor Sent to Prison For Abandoning Chemicals

James A. Vaandering of Muskegon, MI was sentenced to 13 months in prison, a $1,000 fine, restitution of $151,000 for a Superfund cleanup, and to perform 300 hours of community service and serve three years of supervised release once he completes his prison term. He pleaded guilty to abandoning hazardous chemicals at the former Sealmore Corporation electroplating facility located in Muskegon, where he was a supervisor. According to the charges filed, the Sealmore Corporation facility was condemned in late 2000 and contained a number of chemicals and liquids in vats used in electroplating, including acid solutions containing hexavalent chromium and hydrofluoric acid. Hexavalent chromium and hydrofluoric acid are chemicals that can cause serious health problems. The case was investigated jointly by the Detroit Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Office of Criminal Investigations.

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