Crime & Courts

Andover man pleads guilty to mishandling waste chemicals at his business

The owner of an El Dorado plastics recycling company has pleaded guilty to mishandling waste chemicals, authorities said.

Brian J. Riley, 41, of Andover, who owns Integrated Plastic Solutions, pleaded guilty to one count of negligent exposure to a hazardous air pollutant, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said in a statement.

In his plea, Riley admitted the company stored hazardous waste at its facility in the form of paints, solvents and other chemicals. The paints and solvents contained ethyl benzene, which is classified as a hazardous air pollutant.

After becoming aware that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment was investigating the company’s waste-handling practices, Riley allowed some paints and solvents to be dumped on the company grounds, releasing ethyl benzene and exposing employees to the risk of flash fire and explosion, Grissom said.

As part of his plea, Riley has agreed to pay more than $118,000 in restitution to the Environmental Protection Agency. Sentencing is set for March 30.

Riley faces a maximum penalty of a year in federal prison and a fine of up to $100,000, Grissom said.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.