SAN FRANCISCO — A company that supplied all the containers used by the Environmental Protection Agency to collect samples for toxic-waste cleanup was charged Friday with defrauding the government by failing to test the containers.
I-Chem Research of Hayward and its owners, Anita and Marvin Rudd, were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of making false claims to the EPA for at least $500,000 between December, 1983, and August, 1986.
A company spokeswoman blamed the charges on disgruntled former employees and denied any wrongdoing.
The company was the EPA's sole supplier of sample containers between June, 1983, and December, 1987. The containers were used to collect samples for enforcement of the so-called "Superfund law" that regulates cleanup of toxic dumps.
The indictment said I-Chem failed to make the required tests on the containers to guarantee that they were free of contaminants before shipping them, and then submitted seven contract claims to the EPA certifying that the testing had been done. Marvin Rudd was also charged with submitting backdated quality-control data in January, 1987.
The Justice Department and the EPA are "assessing the impact of this indictment on the litigation and enforcement actions associated with the Superfund program," said a statement by U.S. Atty. William McGivern and John Martin, the EPA inspector general.