Rutledge sentenced for abandoning chemicals

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Steven D. Weinhoeft has announced that Lawrence D. Rutledge, 57, of Belleville, has been sentenced to five years of federal probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $335,934.87 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“U.S. EPA”) for clean-up expenses associated with his illegal storage of hazardous waste in St. Clair County. Rutledge pleaded guilty to the charge in July.

In 1997, Rutledge started a business called Advanced Asymmetrics, Inc., to synthesize specialty chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry. The business was located inside a commercial building at 109 South Kossuth Street in Millstadt, in close proximity to a residential area and a senior living home. Over time, Rutledge accumulated numerous containers of chemicals and chemical waste at the Millstadt facility.

Sometime around 2011, Rutledge stopped paying the county property taxes on the Millstadt facility, and over the next few years, the electrical service and the water service (both water supply and sewer) to the facility were shut off.

For more on Rutledge, please see this week’s print edition.