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Press Release

AG Shapiro Files Criminal Charges Against Carbon County Recycling Facility

May 19, 2020 | Topic: Criminal

Recycling Company Charged With Dumping Gallons of Chemical Cleaner In Creek

HARRISBURG― Attorney General Shapiro today announced that the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Environmental Crimes section has filed criminal charges against Plastic World Recycling, Inc., for dumping chemical and cleaning products into a nearby storm drain.

“Pennsylvanians have a right to clean air and pure water. Today, we charged Plastic World Recycling for dumping an outrageous amount of cleaning agents into a Carbon County creek that people rely on for trout fishing,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “Any company, big or small, that endangers our environmental rights will be thoroughly investigated. This is just one example– there will be more– as we continue our efforts to protect public health and preserve our heritage and natural resources for the next generation.”

On May 28, 2018, witnesses saw employees of Plastic World Recycling pouring drums of a white chemical on a loading dock which then flowed to a storm drain connected to the Fireline Creek in Carbon County, Pennsylvania.  Witnesses also observed that Fireline Creek had a white, frothy appearance.  Several witnesses reported smelling an acidic odor in the area of the storm water drain inlet.  One witness estimated that 300 drums of cleaning chemicals were dumped by Plastic World Recycling employees. When employees were asked why they had dumped the cleaning agents into the water, they responded that they had been instructed to do so by the owner of Plastic Waste Recycling, and that they were only “doing what [they were] told to do.”

The defendants are being charged with Disturbance of Waterways and Watersheds, Pollution of Waters, Industrial Waste Discharge, and related charges.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Brian Coffey of the Environmental Crimes Section. The investigation was the result of a referral from the Carbon County District Attorney.

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