Former president of Fort Wayne environmental services company sentenced for illegally storing hazardous waste

June 27, 2022

The former president of a Fort Wayne-based environmental services company was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to illegally storing hazardous waste.

Michelle M. Rousseff-Kemp, former president of K-Com Environmental, was sentenced to 24 months of probation and was ordered to pay $5,500 fine after pleading guilty to making and using a false document and storing hazardous waste without a permit.

According to state and court records, Rousseff-Kemp was president of the environmental services company, also known as K-Com Transportation Services Inc., in 2018 when it picked up hazardous waste from an unnamed company, purportedly to transfer to a hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility.

The second company’s waste was not transported to an authorized hazardous waste facility but was instead stored at a K-Com facility.

Court documents state the unnamed company requested copies of the manifests for three hazardous waste shipments, and Rousseff-Kemp asked a K-Com employee to sign the name of a representative from the hazardous waste facility, as if to prove the waste was properly disposed of.

The employee refused to fake the signature, so court records indicated Rousseff-Kemp took the unsigned manifests into her office and forged the signature of the hazardous waste facility representative, falsely stating the waste was delivered to the proper disposal facility on July 15, 2018.

The hazardous waste was eventually delivered to the hazardous waste facility Nov. 28 after spending months in the unauthorized storage facility.

Court documents from March 2019 state Rousseff-Kemp’s company illegally stored hazardous waste at her direction for about three months.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management made arrangements with Rousseff-Kemp to inspect the K-Com facility in May 2019, but before inspectors arrived Rousseff-Kemp ordered employees to drive three trailers containing drums of hazardous waste off-site. Court records say Rousseff-Kemp then lied to the inspectors about what was on the trailers.

Federal law enforcement carried out a search warrant May 30 and 31, 2019 at the K-Com facility and found drums with hazardous waste labels as well as modified and torn-up manifests.

Rousseff-Kemp pleaded guilty to the two counts in January. She was sentenced to 24 months of probation, to be served concurrently, for both charges. As part of her sentencing, Rousseff-Kemp will not be allowed to own, operate or manage a hazardous waste business or prepare documents for any such business.

Former president of Fort Wayne environmental services company sentenced for illegally storing hazardous waste