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WARREN Recycling company targeted for investigation by OEPA



Published: Thu, September 19, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



An OEPA spokeswoman declined to say what the compliance issues are.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- The Ohio attorney general's office has sent a letter to Warren Recycling Inc. informing the company of possible enforcement action by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

"It's in preparation for an enforcement case," said Kara Allison, an OEPA spokeswoman. "We're looking at compliance issues and we've enlisted the assistance of the attorney general's office."

She declined to specify the compliance issues. The letter was sent within the past few weeks, she said.

"It was basically to put them on notice in preparation of possible legal action," Allison said. "We're looking at possible violations."

The next step is up to the AG's office depending on the evidence gathered and how the company responds, she said.

"Ultimately, our goal is getting compliance," Allison said.

Anthony DiCenso III of the company said he hasn't received a letter. He received notice from the AG's office regarding showing proof of background checks and fingerprinting of employees at the company's transfer station. But that's a regular procedure done every two years by the AG's office, he said.

Warren Recycling Inc. was fined $99,000 last year after being convicted of dumping wooden products without the proper license. The company was convicted of a misdemeanor count of criminal damaging.

County prosecutors said the company dumped wood that came from a cabinet manufacturer, not from a construction or demolition site. Prosecutors said if the wood is coming from an industrial process, it is solid waste.

What's permitted

Warren Recycling has a landfill permit for construction and demolition debris, but it does not have a solid waste permit to dump manufacturers' waste, attorney general's office officials have said.

If the same material had been in a building that was demolished, it would be considered construction debris, city officials have said. Since it came from the manufacturer, it was considered solid waste, they said.

The company was ordered to pay OEPA $50,000 for the cost of the prosecution of the case, $25,000 to the Ohio attorney general's office and $12,000 to the county prosecutor's office.

The judge also ordered the company to pay $12,000 to a local charity. Two Warren Recycling employees also pleaded guilty in January to misdemeanor charges of criminal damaging in that case.

Robert Pinti, city deputy health commissioner, said he's been told that OEPA is looking into civil action arising from the same occurrence that produced last year's criminal case.

If OEPA wants some kind of remediation done as part of the case, the city health department will enforce that on the OEPA's recommendation.

"Other than that, I don't know what they're looking for," Pinti said. "I'm at a loss to say what our role is in a civil suit."




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