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CALIFORNIA SUPERVISOR OF NINE TREATMENT PLANTS PLEADS GUILTY

Release Date: 11/09/2001
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2001
CALIFORNIA SUPERVISOR OF NINE TREATMENT PLANTS PLEADS GUILTY

Luke C. Hester 202-564-7818/hester.luke@epa.gov


Mark Stoffer, a civilian supervisor of operations at the nine wastewater treatment plants at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, Ca., pleaded guilty on Oct. 22 to making a false statement to the California Regional Water Control Board and the U.S. EPA about the level of discharged chlorine. Stoffer admitted submitting a report in which he falsely reported a low level of residual chlorine in waters discharged from one plant to a tributary of the Santa Marguerita watershed which empties into the Pacific Ocean. Chlorine is used as a disinfectant in the sewage treatment process, but can not be discharged in amounts above 0.1mg/L because it is toxic to aquatic life, even at low levels. Stoffer faces a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine when sentenced. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.

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