The owner and chief mechanic of a Pennsylvania trucking company have pleaded innocent to charges they washed kerosene, diesel fuel, gasoline, and other materials leaking from their cargo tanks straight into public sewers.
Robert Schippers, owner of Schippers Service trucking company in Easton, PA, and mechanic Ronald Padula pleaded innocent last week to the 46-count indictment.
Lawyers for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say the men violated the Clean Water Act and U.S. DOT regulations to save money. The company allegedly transported kerosene, diesel fuel, gasoline, aviation fuel and fuel oil in leaking and uninspected cargo tanks, according to the indictment. For 12 years, they allegedly dumped the leaking materials from a wash bay straight into the Easton public sewer system.
Authorities accuse the pair of falsifying leakage and pressure test reports on the cargo tanks, falsely marking the tanks to indicate that they had passed federal safety inspections, and lying to Department of Transportation inspectors.
Schippers could face up to 228 years in prison and a $11.5 million fine. Padula could get up to 105 years and a $5.75 million fine.