Steam Plant owner to plead in EPA case, get passport for Bahamas trip

The owner of wedding and event venue Steam Plant Dayton has agreed to plead by bill of information to failing to inspect the building’s roof for asbestos before its renovation, according to federal court documents.

John C. Riazzi, who could face up to five years in prison, also was granted temporary custody of his passport so he and his son can fish in the Bahamas later this month, according to documents filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

On May 2, a filing showed Riazzi agreed to the bill which states he didn’t check the building’s roof for the presence of asbestos, including Category I friable and nonfriable absestos-containing materials (ACM) before renovation in 2016 — a violation of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules.

No date is listed for Riazzi’s plea hearing.

RELATED: Steam Plant Dayton owner faces EPA criminal charges

Federal authorities had criminally charged Riazzi with violating the Clean Air Act related to the disposal of hazardous material. Riazzi also was charged with knowingly failing to wet regulated asbestos-containing material as it was removed during renovation of the building at 617 E. Third St.

After Riazzi was charged in December 2018, a posting on the Steam Plant Dayton’s Facebook page said that “this does not affect the steam plant business or upcoming events in any way.”

A magistrate judge approved the temporary return of Riazzi’s passport so that he could celebrate his son’s graduation from high school “with a short fishing trip to the Bahamas,” according to a motion by Riazzi’s attorney.

RELATED: $3.7 million downtown Dayton project gets back on track

The defendant is to return his passport by June 3 after he returns from the May 23-May 28 vacation, according to court documents.

In September 2016, Riazzi filed a civil lawsuit against the original general contractor on the project, MV Commercial Construction (Miller-Valentine Group), alleging the company made false claims that potentially sparked a criminal investigation.

Riazzi spent more than $3.7 million renovating the building into upscale offices and event space. The venue is popular to rent for weddings, parties and special events.

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