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Arnold M. Knightly

Trevi facing group query

3 September 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Trevi Architectural, which closed Friday because of what its founder said was a "multitude of issues," is under investigation by local, state and federal agencies for possible environmental violations, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection said late last week.

"We are taking it very seriously," said division spokesman Dante Pistone, declining to discuss the specifics of the investigation.

Trevi Architectural has provided custom-made fountains, statues, sculptures and molding to gambling resorts including Wynn Las Vegas, Wynn Macau, The Venetian and Caesars Palace. The founder, Scott Acton, was named Nevada small-businessperson of the year by the Small Business Administration in 2005.

The state environmental division is the lead agency on the case, but it is working with the Southern Nevada Health District and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Pistone said the investigation began a few months ago but he did not give a timetable on how long it would take.

He said the business' closure would not affect the investigation, although it could mitigate some penalties if any violations are found.

Acton could not be reached on his cell phone and he did not answer an e-mail by deadline on Tuesday.

Last week, Acton said business was closing due to a "combination of factors" including a series of unpaid bills and a decision by the company's new owners, private-equity firm Ampersand Ventures, not to put any more money into the business.

He did not mention the investigation then.

Although the focus of the investigation is not known, various chemical solvents and oil-based mold releases are used in the making and treating of fountains, columns, statues and other items made by Trevi.

Additionally, glass fiber is used in production and requires proper disposal and ventilation in work areas.

Trevi Architectural, which is named after the famous fountain in Rome, operated a warehouse on a half-acre at 2701 Westwood Drive, south of Sahara Avenue.

The warehouse is enclosed by 10 acres owned by brothers Ali and Hassan Davari, owners of topless club Treasures, which borders Trevi to the south.

Attempts to reach the Davaris failed.

Trevi's closure left 147 people out of work.