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North Georgia business owner pleads guilty to dumping hazardous waste

“Ali disregarded the health and safety of citizens by trying to conceal his illegal dumping,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan.  “He also broke the law regarding the proper handling of hazardous materials.  Our office takes protection of the environment very seriously and will continue to prosecute those who seek to destroy our precious natural resources.”

Amin Ali, who directed the dumping of over 100 drums and other containers of chemicals, including hazardous waste, has pleaded guilty to a charge of disposal of hazardous waste without a permit.

“Ali disregarded the health and safety of citizens by trying to conceal his illegal dumping,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan.  “He also broke the law regarding the proper handling of hazardous materials.  Our office takes protection of the environment very seriously and will continue to prosecute those who seek to destroy our precious natural resources.”

“The defendant illegally disposed of numerous drums containing hazardous waste in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,” said Special Agent in Charge Charles Carfagno of EPA-CID’s Southeast Area Branch. “This guilty plea demonstrates that EPA will hold accountable for such criminal behavior and that EPA and DOJ will continue to vigorously prosecute those that choose to violate our environmental statutes.”

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) addresses the problem of hazardous waste transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal and is designed to protect human health and the environment by requiring the proper and safe management of hazardous waste from the time it is created until the time it is disposed of properly.  RCRA prohibits the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste without a permit issued under the statute.  RCRA also prohibits the transportation of hazardous waste to a facility that lacks a permit to accept hazardous waste.

The defendant, Amin Ali, owned and controlled Goldstar Investment Group LLC, 7 Days Property Management Inc., and Rock Springs Farming LLC.  Through these entities, he owned the property in Dalton, Georgia (a warehouse formerly owned by a chemical company), and in Rock Springs, Georgia (a farming property containing several old chicken houses).

In August 2021, Ali had over 100 drums and other containers of chemicals, including many containing hazardous waste, moved from the Goldstar property to the Rock Springs property.  The drums were left in one of the old chicken houses, with some of the drums left in an open trench to be buried.  Some of the contents of the drums spilled and leaked into the surrounding soil.

Subsequent testing of the drums and soil revealed the presence of benzene, lead, and chromium.  In addition, the contents of the drums were reactive and ignitable.

Sentencing for Amin Ali, 56, of Dalton, Georgia, is scheduled for September 20, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May.  Ali pleaded guilty on June 22, 2022.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Huber, Deputy Chief of the Complex Frauds Section, is prosecuting the case.

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