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PA ELEVEN INDICTED FOR CONSPIRING TO VIOLATE CLEAN WATER LAWS

Release Date: 11/06/98
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1998

ELEVEN INDICTED FOR CONSPIRING TO VIOLATE CLEAN WATER LAWS

Eleven defendants who own and operate wastewater treatment facilities in the state of Louisiana were indicted on Oct. 30 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans. Glenn Kelly Johnson of Vicksburg, Miss.; Montell Watkins of Baton Rouge, La.; Carol Rowell of Denham Springs, La.; Johnson Properties Inc.; Johnson Utility Co. Inc.; Utilities Management Services Inc.; Seashore Utilities Inc.; Seashore Utilities of Louisiana Inc.; Thoroughbred Park Service Corp.; Tara Development Corp.; and C.J. Cox Construction Co. Inc., were all named in an indictment alleging conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act. The indictment charges that, in an effort to conceal the poor maintenance and operation of the facilities, the defendants submitted false monitoring information to EPA and fabricated the existence of a laboratory. Johnson, Watkins and Thoroughbred Park Service Corp. are also charged with violations of wastewater discharge permits at three of the facilities. Johnson is further charged with witness tampering and obstruction of a criminal investigation. Improper wastewater treatment monitoring and the violation of discharge permits from sewage treatment facilities can lead to the release of harmful levels of E. Coli bacteria and other microscopic organisms which can produce intestinal illness in humans and harm aquatic organisms and wildlife. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.


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