Owner of Pennsylvania Company Pleads Guilty to Violating the Clean Water Act
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Leo M. Williams, 65, the owner of Lycoming Construction Services, LLC, a Pennsylvania company located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Chief William M. Skretny, to violating the Clean Water Act. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a fine of $25,000 per day of violation, or both.
Assistant U. S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that from January 2012 to November 2013, the defendant was involved in the demolition of the Dahlstrom industrial complex, located at 443-499 Buffalo Street in Jamestown, N.Y. The project involved the demolition of a cluster of condemned buildings on either side of the Chadakoin River, which is a water of the United States. During the demolition, a significant amount of water contaminated with dust and debris from the demolition flowed offsite directly into the Chadakoin River. Williams should have been aware that such contaminated water was flowing into the river, and acted negligently in allowing the water to be discharged.
“The nation’s clean water laws are intended to protect the health of the public and environment alike,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “This office will continue to enforce such laws in order to preserve both for present and future generations.”
“The defendant in this case conducted a demolition project which released a significant amount of water contaminated with dust and debris directly into the Chadakoin River, endangering public health and the environment,” said Vernesa Jones-Allen, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in New York. “Today’s plea should serve as notice that EPA and its partner agencies remain committed to protecting communities through tough enforcement of the nation’s environmental laws.”
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-In-Charge, Vernesa Jones-Allen; Special Agents of the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent-In-Charge Neal R. Marzloff; and Investigators of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police, BECI, under the direction of Captain Frank Lauricella. Additional assistance was provided by the New York State Department of Labor, Asbestos Control Bureau and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 3, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Skretny.