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---May 16, 1988---
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A Valley Stream, NY, man has been found guilty in federal court of "knowing endangerment" -- knowingly placing another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury by illegally disposing of a hazardous waste. This is the first conviction of an individual for violating Sec. 3008e, the "knowing endangerment" clause of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The crime carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Albert Tumin of Valley Stream was convicted April 13 in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn; no date has been set for sentencing.

Mr. Tumin was convicted of having dumped three 55-gallon drums of ethyl ether (a highly flammable substance) in a vacant lot located in a densely-populated residential area of Rockaway, NY. Mr. Tumin had been under police surveillance from the time he purchased the chemical, which is sometimes used in the manufacture of illegal drugs. Assistant District Attorney Roger Marzulla of the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) said DOJ "expects that this case will have an important deterrent effect on those who purposefully dump hazardous wastes in a fashion that endangers innocent people."

For further information contact Public Affairs Office, DOJ, Room 1216, Ninth St. and Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Wash., DC 20530; phone (202) 633-1017.
--Peter Montague, Ph.D.

Descriptor terms: investigations; trials; ny; enforcement; illegal dumping; hazardous waste; rcra; known endangerment; albert tumin; ethyl ether; roger marzulla; doj;

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