Longmont man and business charged with illegally discharging sewage into the union
DENVER – John Albert Paquette, age 52, of Longmont, Colorado, and his company, East Point, LLC, have been charged by Information with knowingly discharging a pollutant without a permit from a point source into waters of the United States, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Criminal Investigation Division announced. Paquette and an attorney representing the company appeared in U.S. District Court yesterday afternoon, where they were advised of their rights and the charges pending against them.
According to the Information, on June 20, 2012, Paquette and East Point, LLC, knowingly discharged 1,000 gallons of raw sewage from a hose into the Oligarchy Ditch, which flowed into the Union Reservoir, located in Longmont, Colorado.
“Protecting our environment, including the water we rely on, is a top priority of this U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Thanks to the investigative work of the EPA, we’ve been able to bring charges against a person and a company who intentionally dirtied water in the city of Longmont.”
“The defendant has been charged with dumping untreated sewage directly into a tributary of Union Reservoir, a popular recreational lake,” said Jeffrey Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Colorado. “Illegally discharged sewage can sicken people, fish and wildlife. This case shows that those who try to save a buck by cutting corners will be vigorously prosecuted.”
If convicted, the company faces not more than 5 years probation, a fine of at least $5,000 and not more than $50,000 per day of violation. Paquette, if convicted, faces up to 1 year in prison and a fine of at least $2,500 and not more than $25,000 per day of violation.
This case is being investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division.
The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Suneeta Hazra.
The charges contained in the Information are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.