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Former Sewage Treatment Company President Indicted in Illegal Discharge Cases

Release Date: 11/23/2004
Contact Information:


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

(11/23/2004) Gordon T. Tollison, former president and owner of Environmental Utilities Services Inc., was arraigned on a 39-count indictment on Nov. 4, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, in Oxford. The indictment arose from the alleged improper operation of four sewage treatment plants in Lafayette County between 1999 and 2002. Tollison, a professional engineer who holds a Class IV wastewater treatment operator certification, was charged with discharging pollutants in excess of limitations in his discharge permits, failing to disinfect sewage and lying to investigators about wastewater analyses he was required to perform and submit to the State of Mississippi. The indictment alleges that between 1999 and 2002, four of Tollison’s treatment plants, Brittany Woods, College Hill Heights, Rolling Woods and Western Hills discharged sewage that exceeded the limitations for fecal coliform bacteria in their permits. These plants collectively serve approximately 900 homes. It further alleges that improperly treated wastewater from these plants was discharged into tributaries of the Sardis and Enid Reservoirs. Discharging wastewater with higher than permitted levels of fecal coliform bacteria into surface waters can present a health hazard to humans, domestic animals and wildlife who come into contact with the waters. The case was investigated by the Jackson Office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. It is being prosecuted by the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi in Oxford.