Federal agents raided USA Brass Company in Bozeman, Montana, last week for environmental violations. Federal investigators along with the Environmental Protection Agency and FBI were inside the company on Thursday morning. This is not the first time the company has come under environmental violation scrutiny.
“We are investigating alleged violations of environmental law and at this time there is no immediate danger to the public,” said Bert Marsden, a criminal investigator with the EPA. USA Brass sells brass for individual ammunition reloaders and commercial ammunition manufacturers.
Early last fall, the company had 10 serious citations and was fined $45,000. Agents were collecting items inside and taking them out of the office. The 22 employees of the company were found to have highly elevated levels of lead in their blood. The company is not providing proper equipment to arm their employees against lead, and doesn’t seem to supply breathing protection and protective clothing. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommended the company be fined.
The EPA, FBI, Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Bozeman Police raided the facility on Thursday, and the employees spent Friday re-organizing after reopening. The sweep and coordinated law enforcement action have made some question whether these types of actions are moral in the United States, or if an audit team would have warranted.