A federal court in Rhode Island has re-sentenced a company convicted under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of illegal hazardous waste storage from 2002 to 2004. United States v. S. Union Co., No. 07-134 S (D.R.I. 4/25/13). The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the initial sentence, which included a $6-million fine and $12 million of community service, because the jury’s verdict did not demonstrate that the length of time the defendant illegally stored hazardous waste was “proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
On remand, the district court rejected the government’s request to empanel a second jury to determine the duration of the RCRA violation. According to the court, the United States “waived its ability to request a jury finding on the precise number of days by not objecting to the jury instructions or verdict form that was submitted to the first jury.” Attempting to do “the best I can do in a bad situation to craft an appropriate sentence,” the court imposed a $500,000 fine and established a 90-day period for the parties and the “greater environmental community” to suggest appropriate community-service obligations to include in the sentence.