Private mint dumps cyanide into river causing death of 30,000 fish

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June 11, 2013 – In April 2012 suddenly tens of thousands of fish died in the Rocky River in Ohio, USA. The pollution’s origin was immediately investigated and things became clear and have led to a trial in which the owner of a private mint played the key role.

After the trial we know that Renato Montorsi, owner of Kennedy Mint, a coin and precious metal company selling collector coins, and two employees loaded two 55-gallon barrels of cyanide into a dumpster. According to the authorities the cyanide was still from the previous business in the mint building, a metal fabricator. When the rubbish collection refused to take that material the three men punctured the drum in order to let the cyanide flow into a storm drain from where it reached the river. The drum was later hidden in the warehouse while Mrs Montorsi stalled investigating police agents.
Charges against Mr Montorsi, however, were dropped when he was found incompetent to stand trial due to dementia. His wife pleaded guilty to the charge of dropping the cyanide into the storm drain and hence a violation of the U.S. Clean Water Act, but not guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Kennedy Mint agreed to pay $30,893 ($1 for every killed fish) to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and will also pay a sum not yet determined to the Cleveland Metroparks affected by the pollution.

You can read more articles on this trial on

In the last MintWorld newsletter we reported on how the German company H2O proposes a cutting-edge technology of zero liquid discharge.

This is the website of Kennedy Mint.