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GEORGIA UTILITY COMPANY SENTENCED

Release Date: 12/03/99
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DEC. 3, 1999

GEORGIA UTILITY COMPANY SENTENCED

Dalton Utilities, a municipally-owned utility company that provides electricity, sewage treatment, natural gas and drinking water for the city of Dalton, Ga., was sentenced on Nov. 19, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for its conviction on five counts of violating the Clean Water Act by falsifying wastewater analysis in monthly operating reports between May 1994 and April 1995. Dalton was fined $1 million, and was ordered to pay $500,000 of its fine immediately. The remainder of the fine will be held in abeyance, pending the successful completion of an environmental compliance program while Dalton serves three years probation. If Dalton fails to successfully complete its probation, it will be ordered to pay the remainder of its fine. Dalton Utilities, which treats wastewater from municipal and business sources, including several large carpet producers, operates one of the few wastewater systems in the United States which discharges its effluent to a land application system. This is accomplished by using 31,000 spray heads which distribute wastewater onto 10,000 acres of land. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources with assistance from the Department of Transportation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Georgia Attorney General’s Office. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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