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Owner of Virginia Trailer Park Charged in Clean Water Act Case

Release Date: 12/01/2004
Contact Information:


Contact: John Millett 202-564-7842 / millett.john@epa.gov

(12/01/04) D.J. Cooper, owner of the Hardy Road Trailer Park in Bedford County, Va., turned himself in to authorities on Nov. 8 in response to Clean Water Act charges brought in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke. The charges allege that Cooper operates a sewage treatment lagoon at the trailer park and that the lagoon daily discharges 3,000-4,000 gallons of improperly treated wastewater into Sandy Creek which is a tributary of Falling Creek. Water from Falling Creek flows into the Roanoke River and eventually into Smith Mountain Lake. Previous attempts by Virginia State Regulators to bring the sewage treatment system at Hardy Road Trailer Park into compliance have been unsuccessful. This effort included a $10,000 fine by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality last summer. The discharge of improperly treated sewage into surface waters can make the waters unfit for human contact and can damage fish and wildlife. An inspection of Sandy Creek in 2002 by a biologist found the creek “essentially devoid of life.” The case was investigated by the Washington, D.C., Area Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division with assistance from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s office in Roanoke.