The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made an example of two business owners in June who violated the Clean Air and Clean Water acts by failing to follow proper procedures in removing asbestos, and causing sewage backups and tainted tap water in peoples’ homes, respectively, according to EPA press releases.
Bobby Joe Knapp, of West Des Moines, Iowa, was sentenced to 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act and one count of failing to follow asbestos work-practice standards while he was renovating a building from 2005 to 2008. Knapp cut financial corners by disposing of material containing asbestos in an open Dumpster and did not provide workers with proper protective equipment or training on working with asbestos. Exposure to asbestos is a common cause of the cancer mesothelioma.
Jeffrey Pruett, of West Monroe, La., owner of Louisiana Land & Water Co., was sentenced to 33 months incarceration for violating the Clean Water Act by failing to provide and maintain records, illegally discharging pollutants, and improperly operating and maintaining a sewage and wastewater facility.