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Electroplating company owner who flouted storage laws for more than 20 years going to prison



Gary Sayers, the owner of a Madison Heights electroplating company, has been sentenced to a year in prison. 

That's after he violated hazardous waste storage laws for more than two decades.

Electroplating companies use dangerous chemicals like chromium and cyanide. Waste materials from the process must go to a facility licensed to dispose of hazardous materials. 

But for more than two decades, Sayers stored waste in drums on the property -- as well as in a pit dug into the floor of the factory. 

He refused to stop despite numerous warnings from the state, and the amounts of hazardous materials stored on the site continued to mount.  

In 2017, the U.S. EPA finally stepped in, declaring the property a Superfund site, and disposing of more than 5,000 containers of hazardous waste. 

Sayers has been sentenced to a year in prison and his company will have to repay the EPA the nearly $1.5 million it spent on cleanup. 

Sayers' company, EPS, is no longer in operation.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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