Updated July 30 at 11:23pm

Feds want fine, not service for Pawtucket mercury spill

Federal prosecutors are calling for a $500,000 fine on the Texas natural gas firm that illegally stored liquid mercury for two years in a Pawtucket building, Boston.com reports.

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



Enter your email to receive Providence Business News' e-newsletters
and breaking news alerts.  

regulation

Feds want fine, not service for Pawtucket mercury spill

Posted:

PROVIDENCE – Federal prosecutors are calling for a $500,000 fine on the Texas natural gas firm that illegally stored liquid mercury for two years in a Pawtucket building, Boston.com reports.

A judge had decided to solicit ideas for a community service sentence after a U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down his original $18 million penalty.

U.S. District Judge William Smith in April said the maximum $500,000 fine allowed following the Supreme Court ruling would not deter the firm, Southern Union, or other companies from similar crimes. Smith decided on a community service sentence instead and consulted with environmental groups as well as prosecutors and the company on what sentence might have the “broadest possible impact.”

However, prosecutors last week filed a brief urging Smith to impose the fine instead.

Southern Union stored liquid mercury from old gas regulators without a permit in glass jars, a plastic jug, and other containers in a neglected building in a heavily-populated area of Pawtucket. Teenagers later dumped the mercury at the building and at a nearby housing complex, causing an evacuation. Residents have since shown symptoms of mercury exposure, including high blood levels of mercury, hair loss and rashes.

environment, mercury, mercury spill, southern union

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
Latest News