LAFAYETTE, La. — A Louisiana dry cleaner pleaded guilty last week to negligently causing and allowing the discharge of hazardous waste—perchloroethylene, also known as perc—into a publicly owned treatment works or sewer system, according to U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley.
Jason Prejean, 38, of Lafayette owns One Low Price Cleaners (OLPC) and entered the guilty plea on behalf of him and his Lafayette business.
At the hearing, Prejean admitted that he acted negligently in failing to ensure the proper and lawful disposal of wastewater containing perc and that he failed to train OLPC employees on the lawful disposal of perc waste. He also admitted that he had not used a disposal company since February 2007.
Investigations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) revealed that from December 2007 through May 2009, perc was improperly stored on-site at OLPC and that employees routinely poured perc wastewater down the toilet inside the store.