Business owner pleads guilty to felony unlawful disposal of hazardous waste

The following is a news release from the DEQ:

BATON ROUGE – A Texas man, Robert Beam, 41, former owner of Chrome Doctor and Chrome Technology pled guilty on Monday in the 14th Judicial District Court to felony Unlawful Disposal of Hazardous Waste.

In November 2003, Beam was arrested for illegally disposing of hazardous waste at his abandoned chrome plating business, Chrome Doctor, located in Lake Charles. In March 2004, Beam was arrested a second time for illegally disposing of hazardous waste at Chrome Technology, his other chrome plating business in Lake Charles.

"Anyone participating in, or having knowledge of, any act of illegal disposal of hazardous waste will be held accountable for their actions," said Peter Ricca, Manager of Radiological and Emergency Planning and Response at DEQ. "The eradication of the illegal disposal of hazardous waste is a top priority for DEQ, and we will continue to work diligently to bring these violators to justice."

"We will not tolerate the intentional introduction of hazardous materials into the environment in Calcasieu Parish," said District Attorney John DeRosier. "We will vigorously seek out and prosecute all offenders who would place our citizens at risk to make a larger profit."

Beam was sentenced to pay over $72,000 in criminal fines, restitution and court costs. In addition, Beam was placed on probation for five years and sentenced to 30 days of community service. Beam was also barred for life from engaging in any operations relative to the chrome plating business or which requires a permit from DEQ.

The case was handled by DEQ-CID and by Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier and Assistant District Attorney David Palay.