The owner of a Frederick County refinishing business has been charged with violating federal hazardous waste laws by dumping paint strippers and lacquer thinners without a permit.
The indictment, returned yesterday by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, charges Anthony St. Angelo Sr. with four counts of illegal dumping at St. Angelo's East Coast Furniture Renewal Services in Ijamsville.
The indictment accuses St. Angelo, who lives in Hagerstown, of ignoring "repeated warnings" that he needed a hazardous waste permit after several employees of Eastern Waste Industries, a trash-hauling company, became ill from the chemicals in 1987.
In September 1987, the indictment says, St. Angelo told a state inspector that the chemical strippers he used in his business were applied to furniture with rags, and that the only hazardous wastes he generated were on the rags.
Sometime shortly after that meeting, St. Angelo installed a "stripping bath" at the plant to remove paint, varnish and other finishes from furniture, the indictment says, adding that the device, a tank containing sprayers and brushes, generated hazardous wastes.
The indictment says the spent strippers and thinners contained lead, toluene, methylene chloride and methanol, and came in containers marked with warning labels which said the chemicals were poisonous and flammable.
After the chemicals were used, they were mixed with sawdust, debris or water, and were either placed in a trash bin with general trash, poured on the pavement beside St. Angelo's building or dumped on the ground in two corners of the defendant's property, the indictment says.
St. Angelo could not be reached for comment on the charges.