A federal judge sentenced the owner of a waste-hauling firm yesterday to five years of probation and ordered him to pay $55,700 in restitution after abandoning eight trailers full of material containing asbestos on a Severn parking lot.
Terrance Yates, 43, of Pasadena, Calif., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to falsifying Environmental Protection Agency documents verifying that he had properly dumped the material in an approved site in Pennsylvania, said Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office.
District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow also sentenced Yates to 200 hours of community service.
Yates owned and operated Hazport Solutions Inc. in Severn. From August 2004 through July 2006, he contracted with at least five companies to take between 12 and 17 trailers full of asbestos from sites in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia to the EPA's approved landfill in Pennsylvania.
The companies paid him, but Yates left the trailers on an unidentified lot in Severn for more than a year until state regulators discovered them.
He then sent waste shipment records to the companies, falsely certifying that the asbestos had been disposed of at the Pennsylvania landfill, authorities said.
On July 18, 2006, EPA investigators found 12 trailers leased to Hazport, eight of which were full of asbestos-containing waste materials, on the lot.
The trailers were not lined with plastic, and no signs were posted indicating that they contained asbestos, as required by federal regulations. Some of the bags containing asbestos had been damaged, and loose asbestos-containing debris was found in the trailers.
The EPA required the original contractors for the renovation and demolition sites to remove the asbestos and properly dispose of it. The cleanup took four months and cost about $57,000.
A news release issued by U.S. attorney's office did not explain the apparent discrepancy between the cost of the cleanup and the restitution amount.