Green Guide

Seward man gets 6 months for violating Clean Air Act

Posted March 15

— A Seward man who used hazardous fiberglass materials at his manufacturing plants has been sentenced to six months in prison for violating the Clean Air Act in 2013.

Patrick Keough, 59, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Omaha. He must serve a year of supervised release after he leaves custody, the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/2mt9OSl ) reported.

Keough owns America's Fiberglass Animals, which used gel coats and Hazardous Air Pollutant paints and solvents to make its products. Prosecutors said that Keough transferred several fire-damaged drums of fiberglass gel coat resin to a Seward storage facility in May 2013, after a fire at the company.

Court records show the Environmental Protection Agency learned of the hazardous materials after the fire, and Keough was indicted in 2014. The Nebraska Environmental Quality Department determined Keough failed to acquire a construction permit and fabric filters for his company's plant in Shelton, and later in Minden.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Norris said that the emissions used in Keough's manufacturing process put workers in danger of serious bodily injury.

Despite the indictment, Keough's company was chosen to manufacture 6-foot fiberglass heart sculptures for Nebraska's 150th birthday celebration. Keough pleaded guilty in November to two counts of violating the Clean Air Act.

He was released after Monday's sentencing on conditions of supervision and will be allowed to turn himself in to the Bureau of Prisons.

The Clean Air Act is a federal law designed to regulate air emissions from stationary and mobile sources nationwide.

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