Prime Plating of Maple Grove, Minn.; Scott Hanson, Prime Plating’s owner; and two other individuals, Sam Opare-Addo and Arlyn Hanson, were each convicted by a jury on Dec. 15 in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in Minneapolis on eight counts of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA).
In addition, Prime Plating and Scott Hanson were convicted of conspiracy and failure to notify the local sewage treatment authority of changes in a discharge system and failure to notify of a bypass.
Prime Plating was convicted of introducing pollutants into a sewage treatment system which the defendant knew or should have known could cause injury or damage. Prime Plating is in the metal finishing business.
The conspiracy took place in June and July of 2003, when Hanson and Prime Plating conspired to discharge industrial wastewater from the Prime Plating facility in order to allow the business to continue operations even though it did not have a functioning pre-treatment system for its waste as required by the Metropolitan Council. As a result of the conspiracy, untreated wastewater was discharged directly into sewers using pumps and garden hoses.
Plating and Hanson hid the illegal discharges from state and federal regulators. Discharging plating wastes into sewers can prevent the proper treatment of wastewater at sewage treatment facilities. The case was investigated by the Minneapolis Office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services and the Hennepin County Department of Environmental Services with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s office in Minneapolis.