Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | May 30, 2009

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says wastewater treatment operators sentenced in North Carolina case.

Two employees of the waste water treatment plant for the Town of Dallas, N.C. pleaded guilty of violating the Clean Water Act.  Kirby Dean Case and George Wallace Hughes, III, of Iron Station, N.C., were sentenced for violating the Clean Water Act at the city’s treatment plant.

Case and Hughes broke the law between the summer and December 12, 2007, by discharging pollutants from the Town of Dallas Waste Water Treatment Plant into the Dallas Branch of the Catawba River Basin.

Case also pleaded guilty to making false material statements in documents required to be filed or maintained under the Clean Water Act, and aiding and abetting such false statements, by causing to be filed with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources certain reports that included falsified levels of chlorine, ammonia, fecal coliform, and other materials in samples taken from the Town of Dallas Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Case received a sentence of two months of home confinement; two years of supervised probation; 400 hours of community service; and was ordered to pay a $5,000 criminal fine. Hughes received a sentence of one year of supervised probation; 200 hours of community service; and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

According to court records and proceedings, Case received credit at sentencing for assisting the government’s investigation and for testifying against Hughes at sentencing. Case testified that it was Hughes who directed him, among other things, to substitute drinking water in place of the samples that were supposed to be taken from the wastewater treatment plant and submitted for regulatory oversight.

Do you think someone might have noticed the levels of chlorine and fluoride in the wastewater discharge samples?  In my opinion, these two wise guys should be in jail for committing these violations of the public trust.

Additional information about the Clean Water Act is available at the following link: http://www.epa.gov/lawregs/laws/cwa.html

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