United States v. Dean

969 F.2d 187 (1992)

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United States v. Dean

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
969 F.2d 187 (1992)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD

Facts

Gale Dean (defendant) was the production manager at a facility owned by General Metal Fabricators, Inc. (GMF). GMF engaged in metal work and generated hazardous chemicals and waste in the process. Dean instructed subordinate employees on hazardous-waste handling and disposal and was familiar with the hazardous chemicals used at the facility, including chromic acid, having reviewed the manufacturer’s data sheets that accompanied the chemicals. The data sheets stated that the chemicals were subject to state and federal regulations. Nevertheless, GMF had no permit to handle hazardous waste, and numerous practices at GMF violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). For example, hazardous chemicals were drained from the facility into an outdoor lagoon. Additionally, Dean instructed employees to store chromic acid in drums and to toss the drums into a concealed pit behind the facility. The drums’ contents spilled onto soil and contaminated the pit and the lagoon. Authorities discovered the drums by chance. Dean, along with the owners and plant manager of GMF, were criminally indicted. The United States (plaintiff) charged Dean with storing and disposing of chromic acid without a permit, violating 42 U.S.C. § 6928(d)(2)(A). Dean was convicted, and he appealed. Dean argued that he was unaware of an RCRA permit requirement, he was not the owner or operator of GMF, and the chromic acid had not been dangerous to human health in the manner that it had been stored.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Joiner, J.)

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