SAVANNAH — Boasso America, Inc., headquartered in New Orleans, and with a facility in Garden City, pled guilty Thursday before Senior U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. for the illegal transportation and dumping of hazardous waste.
Boasso pled to a felony violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act that regulates the storage and transportation of hazardous waste. Boasso’s plea follows the convictions of two of its former employees, Ray Mitchell, 52, of Pooler and Maurice Miller, 40, of Savannah for their roles in dumping of hazardous waste. Earlier this year, Miller was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison. Mitchell was sentenced to 20 months.
According to evidence presented during multiple hearings, Boasso provides transportation services for tank containers containing hazardous wastes. Boasso’s Garden City facility stored and transported its customers’ tanks containing hazardous waste. In 2015, rather than properly transporting and safely disposing of drums and totes at its Garden City facility that contained the hazardous chemical naphthalene, Boasso employees Mitchell and Miller illegally transported and dumped a significant amount of naphthalene into the ground of a nearby Savannah neighborhood. Exposure to amounts of naphthalene, a main ingredient found in mothballs, can cause serious health issues. Once discovered, law enforcement and environmental officials removed the hazardous waste. Further investigation by law enforcement officials uncovered that Boasso employees fabricated invoices in an effort to hide their illegal dumping of hazardous waste.
The investigation of this case was led by the EPA, with assistance from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, and Savannah Fire Department haz-mat team.
As part of its plea agreement, Boasso has agreed to pay full restitution, including cleanup costs; has agreed to pay the maximum fine of $500,000; and has agreed to establish, implement, and enforce an effective environmental compliance plan.