Federal investigators descended upon an eastern Lawrence business Wednesday as part of a mysterious probe by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Kris Lancaster, a spokesman for the EPA, said investigators with the agency's criminal investigative division executed a federal search warrant on a building at 600 E. 23rd St. that is operated by MagnaGro International Inc. Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation also were on scene to assist the EPA, Lancaster said.
Lancaster said the warrant was sealed, and he declined to comment on what the agency was seeking at the building.
City Manager David Corliss released a statement later in the day confirming the city had shut off water and sewer service to the building. But Corliss said he did not believe any environmental issues at the site were causing problems for the city's utility system.
"We have no reason to believe the safety of the city's water and wastewater services to Lawrence residents have been jeopardized by the alleged misuse at the site," Corliss said.
Attempts to reach officials at MagnaGro were unsuccessful Wednesday. Late Wednesday afternoon, employees were not at the 600 E. 23rd St. location or at another 23rd Street location listed in the phone book as an office for the company.
Several Web sites listed the company as an agriculture fertilizer blending company.
Lancaster declined to give any other details on the investigation and declined to say what type of crimes the EPA's criminal investigative division generally investigates. But an EPA Web site said the unit can investigate various crimes, including violations of the Clean Water or Clean Air acts, illegal disposal of hazardous waste, tampering with drinking water supply and illegally dumping pollutants into bodies of water.