SALT LAKE CITY — A man who abandoned leaking drums of toxic chemicals on a Salt Lake street four years ago will be going to federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Dee Benson sentenced Andrew A. Costa to 21 months in prison and ordered him to pay $70,392 to the Environmental Protection Agency to cover cleanup costs. In an earlier plea agreement, Costa admitted to disposing of hazardous waste without a permit.
Costa, 45, of Salt Lake City, owned two cargo trailers containing 67 drums of liquid and dry chemicals in 2006 that he parked on 1235 S. Wallace Road. Some of the contents of the drums spilled onto the street.
A Salt Lake City parking enforcement officer noticed the leaking and contacted health officials. The drums were found to contain a toxic amount of leachable lead. Costa initially denied owning the trailer.
“The sentence imposed today sends a message to all those who work with hazardous materials: paying the full price to properly dispose of hazardous waste is always cheaper than prison and paying for an environmental cleanup,” U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen said.