A Michigan contractor was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $44,000 in restitution to the U.S. government for failure to follow regulations related to the handling of harmful substances. The defendant pleaded guilty to violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by illegally causing the transportation of paint and solvent wastes to four rural Michigan sites, where they were abandoned. One site was near an elementary school. The materials were ignitable and contained xlyene, ethyl benzene (a known carcinogen), toluene and lead. Exposure to sufficient quantities of lead can lead to disorders of the bones and the nervous system.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit.