News and Press Releases

MIAMI-DADE SEPTIC HAULER CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL DISCHARGE OF WASTES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Maureen O’Mara, Special Agent in Charge, Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID), and James K. Loftus, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, announced that Guillermo Molina, 55, of Miami, pled guilty and was sentenced on October 7, 2010 for dumping pollutants into the Miami-Dade County Sanitary Sewer. U.S. District Court Judge Paul C. Huck sentenced Molina to three (3) years’ probation, a $2,500 fine, and 750 hours of community service. The court also prohibited Molina from engaging in pumping, trucking, hauling and discharging pollutants during the period of probation.

Molina pled guilty to a felony violation of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, Title 33, United States Code, Sections 1317(d) and 1319(c)(2)(A). According to statements made in court, Molina was the owner and operator of a septic pumping truck and engaged in the septic and grease trap waste disposal business in Miami-Dade County. Molina was hired to pump out residential and commercial septic systems filled with sludge, sewage, and chemicals, and grease traps filled grease and sludge at restaurants and other businesses, and to haul those wastes to a Publicly Owned Treatment Plant (POTW), a permitted facility where they would be properly treated and disposed. Instead, on March 18, 2010, Molina by-passed disposal of the sewage and grease trap contents of his septic truck at the permitted Miami-Dade POTW sites, and discharged the waste directly into the Miami-Dade sanitary sewer system, causing the pollutants to flow untreated into that system. Molina stated he did this to complete more jobs daily and to avoid the discharge fee he would be charged at the POTW. Investigators from EPA-CID, and the Miami-Dade Police Environmental Crimes Unit conducted surveillance of Molina’s illegal conduct.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “Illegal waste dumping poses serious potential health hazards. Waste haulers cannot be allowed to endanger public health to save themselves a few dollars. With our partners at EPA, we will stand watch to help protect our environment and the safety and health of our citizens.”

“Dumping grease waste into city sewer systems risks the health of the sewage treatment plant workers and any others who may come in contact with the polluted water. Illegal dumping also short-changes businesses that have paid to have their waste disposed of safely and legally,” said Maureen O’Mara, EPA-CID Special Agent in Charge for the Florida region. “This guilty plea sends a clear message to other potential violators that those who put human health and the environment at risk will be prosecuted.”

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of EPA-CID, the Miami-Dade Police Department, Environmental Investigations Unit, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose A. Bonau.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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