Yazoo City recycler pleads guilty to running fake facility

Published 4:35 pm Friday, November 16, 2007

A man who ran a fake hazardous waste recycling facility in Yazoo City pleaded guilty in Natchez federal court Thursday to all six counts he was charged with.

Dennie Eugene Pridemore pleaded guilty to improperly disposing of hazardous metals, then lying to state and federal investigators to cover up the sham.

Pridemore’s Hydromex Inc. was supposed to recycle hazardous wastes into useful products. Instead, Pridemore pleaded guilty to burying waste contaminated with the heavy metals cadmium, chromium and lead. Those cancer-causing metals leached into the surrounding soil and groundwater.

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In an effort to conceal his scheme, a news release from U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton and Granta Nakayama, head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program, said Pridemore made products that were useless.

He faces up to 30 years in jail and a $1.5 million fine when he’s sentenced in February.