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Virginia Sewage Treatment Plant Owner Sentenced for Clean Water Act Violation

Release Date: 12/19/2002
Contact Information:


Teresa Libera 202-564-7873/libera.teresa@epa.gov

(12/19/02) Robert Gill of Hopewell, Va., was sentenced on Dec. 9 to serve two years in prison and repay the state of Virginia and Isle of Wight County $146,000 in restitution. The sentence, issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk, is the result of a guilty plea in which Gill admitted to violating the Clean Water Act in 1999. Gill is the owner of DLG Public Utility Corp. Inc., which operated a sewage treatment plant that serviced the Queen Anne’s Court housing development in Benn’s Church, Va. Gill, who was the sole worker at the facility had a permit to release treated wastewater into Jones Creek, which is a tributary of the Pagan River. However in April 1999, Gill ceased coming to work and did not hire a replacement operator, which led to raw sewage being released into Jones Creek. Failing to operate a sewage treatment facility can lead to the pollution of surface waters and make them unfit for fish, wildlife and recreational purposes. In a prior case in 1996, Gill was sentenced to 30 days home confinement, a $2,500 fine and $1,815 in restitution by the federal district court in Norfolk for falsifying laboratory reports required under the Clean Water Act. This case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Norfolk.