CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The fixed-base operator at Yeager Airport pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges that he and his company stored hazardous waste without a permit.
U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said Brian Scott Miller, 56, the president of Charleston-based Executive Air Terminal Inc., and the company itself admitted to a federal felony charge.
“Business owners have a responsibility to legally and safely dispose of hazardous waste,” Stuart said in a news release. “And everyone will be held accountable for violating these responsibilities.”
According to Stuart, Executive Air’s business of fueling and servicing planes at Yeager produced hazardous waste. The company ended up with 27 55-gallon drums over what it was allowed to store. The drums contained approximately 1,700 more kilograms of hazardous waste.
Instead of hiring a company to properly dispose of the waste, Miller had Executive Air workers move the drums, first to a farm outside of Charleston, and then to a building in Charleston. The initial move happened in the middle of the night, federal prosecutors said.
Criminal investigators with the federal EPA found the drums in late 2015. The West Virginia DEP issued a number of violations and eventually entered a consent order with the company.
After accepting the plea Thursday, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin set sentencing for July 19.
Miller faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Yeager Airport responded to Miller’s plea Thursday. It said its police force helped with the initial investigation in 2015.
“Yeager Airport takes this unlawful activity very seriously and has since increased oversight, inspections and patrols to ensure public safety,” Yeager Airport Director Terry Sayre said.