Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has filed a lawsuit against a former Sioux City council and city environmental advisory board member who owned several defunct electronic waste recycling businesses.
The lawsuit, filed in Woodbury County District Court, alleges Aaron Rochester and his companies, Recycletronics, Siouxland PC, and The Name Ministries, illegally dumped and stored waste at licensed and unlicensed locations in Sioux City, Akron and South Sioux City, Nebraska.
The lawsuit alleges that Rochester and his companies collected waste disposal fees and then illegally stored or disposed of millions of pounds of electronic components, including hazardous waste.
According to the lawsuit, the properties contain an estimated 17 million pounds of electronic waste, including more than 12 million pounds in Iowa and another 4.5 million pounds at two sites in Nebraska.
Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Rochester and his former business owe the state more than $75,000 for a 2011 loan for equipment used to recycle electronic waste.
In November, Rochester and one of his companies, Siouxland PC, entered into a consent order settlement with the EPA which requires Rochester to remove and properly dispose of all illegally disposed-of materials at its facilities by set deadlines.
Miller’s lawsuit seeks unspecified civil penalties, a court-ordered removal of solid waste according to state environmental laws, a permanent injunction that prohibits future violations of certain state laws, and a judgment for the unpaid balance of the 2011 state loan.