Bennett Environmental Inc.
TSX : BEV

Bennett Environmental Inc.

July 31, 2008 16:21 ET

BEI Finalizes US Department of Justice Plea

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 31, 2008) - Bennett Environmental Inc. (TSX:BEV) (the "Company" or "BEI") announced today that it had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud in United States District Court, District of New Jersey, related to the Company's conduct with respect to bidding for the Federal Creosote project in New Jersey. The charge and subsequent plea arose from events during the 2002 to 2004 time period when the Company had a different Board of Directors and management team in place.

The plea comes at the end of a prolonged period of investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice with which the Company has fully co-operated. Based on the advice of legal counsel the Company had determined that contesting the charge was not the appropriate course of action. Final sentencing was not concluded at the time of the plea. The Company has estimated that its liability in connection with this matter is $2.8 million U.S. and recorded this amount in its 2007 results.

The plea relates to the same time period and project that prompted various security authority investigations of the Company and certain directors and officers. These investigations related to the Company's management of its public disclosure obligations in 2003 and 2004. These same events led to a shareholder class action suit which was settled by the Company and its insurers.

The Federal Creosote project was also used by management at the time to justify the construction and permitting of the Belledune facility in the period 2002 through 2004 for in excess of $30 million. Subsequently the Company did not receive the volumes from this project sufficient to open the Belledune facility. The Company ultimately determined the facility was redundant and recently announced that an agreement, subject to certain conditions, to sell the facility for net proceeds of approximately $2.9 million.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release and in certain documents incorporated by reference into this press release constitute forward-looking statements. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe" and "confident" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. BEI believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in, or incorporated by reference into, this press release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release. BEI undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Bennett Environmental Inc.

Bennett Environmental Inc. is a North American leader in high temperature treatment services for the treatment of contaminated soil and has provided thermal solutions to contamination problems throughout Canada and the U.S. Bennett Environmental's technology provides for the safe, economical and permanent solution to contaminated soil. Independent testing has consistently proven that the technology operates well within the most stringent criteria in North America. For information, please visit the Bennett Environmental website at: www.bennettenv.com.

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