PITTSBURGH The owners of Portland, Ore.-based Anfield & Sons Metal Recyclers LLC have pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of violating the federal Clean Air Act.
Brothers Carl Anfield, 37, and James Anfield, 42, are accused of recycling refrigerators, vending machines and appliances for scrap metal but taking no precautions to prevent the release of refrigerants into the air, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Oregon.
The company, which had major industrial contracts with companies and recycled thousands of machines between 2006 and 2008, allegedly sold the scrap to a processor for $2.34 million.
Following a grand jury investigation, the brothers were indicted on three felony charges, including conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act as well as Clean Air Act refrigerator and vending machine violations.
When entering into contracts with major customers, Anfield misrepresented itself and said it complied with environmental laws and regulations, according to court documents. But workers allegedly were instructed to use sledgehammers, cutting tools and torches to cut refrigeration lines, allowing refrigerantsincluding fluorocarbonsto escape into the atmosphere.
Both men have been released as they await trial, which is set for Jan. 15.
Neither man could be reached for comment.