Urethane Sends Man to Prison
WICHITA, Kan. — A Cherokee County man who admitted hauling and discarding hazardous materials without a permit was sentenced this week in federal court to 18 months in prison.
Jack E. Smith, 37, of Scammon, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful disposal of hazardous waste in Crawford County, according to a news release from the office of the U.S. attorney in Kansas.
The release said that Smith admitted in a plea deal that he had purchased a truck that contained boxes of urethane flooring materials, paints and other chemicals.
Smith bought the box truck, which contained expired urethane materials used in the construction of gym floors as well as polymers and paints, in early 2016, according to court documents.
Federal authorities said Smith had been notified by the previous owner that the hazardous materials would not be accepted at a landfill and that he instead took the truck to his uncle’s property in rural Crawford County.
At his uncle’s property, Smith started to remove the containers for disposal, but the truck and boxes caught fire, destroying a majority of their contents, according to the court documents. An EPA investigation determined that the materials the boxes contained were hazardous.
Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, individuals are required to have a certified permit to transport or dispose of hazardous waste. Neither Smith nor his uncle had any such EPA or state permits, according to the court documents.
With labels on the containers clearly marked “flammable” and “hazardous,” court records state, Jack E. Smith had to have known that the boxes contained hazardous chemicals.