AG Van Hollen: EOG Environmental, Inc. and Michael Vilione, Sr. are convicted of feloniously storing hazardous waste in Milwaukee

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Bill Cosh 608/266-1221

MILWAUKEE – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today announced that his office has resolved criminal charges against EOG Environmental, Inc. (EOG) and its owner Michael Vilione, Sr. (Vilione) for a series of hazardous waste violations. EOG is a licensed hazardous waste transporter. As such, it was allowed to store hazardous waste at its facility at 8111 West Bradley Road, City of Milwaukee for up to ten days before it must be sent off to a licensed storage or disposal facility.

Over a number of inspections, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) found that EOG was accumulating hazardous waste far beyond the ten-day limit without a storage license. After a number of warnings to EOG and Vilione, the DNR conducted a criminal investigation and our office filed criminal hazardous waste charges. EOG subsequently properly removed all of the hazardous waste from the facility and closed it.

On December 7, 2010, EOG and Vilione plead no contest to willfully storing hazardous waste without a license on June 23, 2008, August 7, 2008, and November 3, 2008, as an enterprise. This is an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $200,000 or imprisonment for not more than twelve years, or both. EOG also pled no contest to willfully altering hazardous waste records, an offense punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $25,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year in the county jail. Each defendant was ordered to pay $50,000 in fines, costs, and surcharges by the Honorable Richard J. Sankovitz, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge as penalties for these violations.

“In Wisconsin,” Van Hollen said, “hazardous waste is strictly regulated for the protection of our citizens and the environment. We will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that the regulations are followed and violations prosecuted where appropriate.”

The violations were investigated by environmental wardens and inspectors at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, who referred the matter to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Assistant Attorney General Steven Tinker represented the State.