Dennis Rodriguez of El Paso was sentenced Thursday to five months in prison for violating hazardous waste transport law while operating his company, North American Waste Assistance, located in the same city.
Rodriguez was convicted of illegally disposing of hazardous waste, some of which was taken to the Avalon landfill in Ellis County.
Rodriguez was also sentenced to five months home confinement, two years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
Under a plea agreement reached in February, Rodriguez admitted to one count of making a false statement in a manifest (tracking record) used to transport hazardous waste and to two counts of transporting hazardous waste to a facility that was not authorized to accept hazardous waste
Both Rodriguez and his company were indicted in November 2005 for the hazardous waste violations. According to the indictment, Rodriguez and his company were hired to dispose of more than 155 gallon drums of construction-related waste.
About 75 of the drums contained petroleum-based concrete curing compound, which is classified as a flammable hazardous waste.
In March 2002, Rodriguez and his company transported the drums using several hazardous waste manifests that stated that the drums contained non-hazardous waste. Rodriguez illegally disposed of the drums at landfills in Avalon, Texas, and Walterboro, S.C., which were not permitted under federal law to accept hazardous waste, according to a press release by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The case was investigated by the EPA’s criminal investigation program, with assistance from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and was prosecuted by the Department of Justice Environmental Crimes Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.
On the Internet
More information on Hazardous Waste: epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/hazwaste.htm
More information on Criminal Enforcement: epa.gov/compliance/criminal
To report a violation: epa.gov/tips