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Gene Moran and John Gold, operators of Silver State Plating in Las Vegas, Nev., were sentenced recently for federal violations arising from the illegal discharge of electroplating wastes into sewers operated by the Clark County Sanitation District. The wastes contained excessive levels of zinc, chromium, copper, lead and nickel.
Moran, who was previously convicted of illegally discharging plating wastes into Las Vegas sewers, was sentenced to 12 months in prison. Gold, who pleaded guilty to illegally discharging wastes into sewers, intentionally discharging similar wastes, conspiring to illegally dispose of plating wastes and making false statements to conceal illegal discharges, was also sentenced to 12 months in prison.
Discharging electroplating wastes into sewers can cause sewage treatment equipment to fail and can lead to untreated sewage being discharged to surface waters – creating a risk to humans who use the waters for recreation and to aquatic and animal life.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI with the assistance of EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center, the Clark County Sanitation District, and the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.
The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office in Las Vegas and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.