Howell Machine, Inc. Sentenced for Violating Clean Water Act
COEUR D’ALENE – Howell Machine, Inc., of Lewiston, Idaho, pled guilty today and was sentenced for negligent violation of the Clean Water Act, a misdemeanor, in violation of 33 U.S.C. §§ 1311, 1319(c)(1)(A), 1342(b)(8), U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale placed Howell Machine, Inc. on probation for two years and ordered the company to pay a $10,000 fine.
According to the plea agreement, in late 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal Investigation Division received information that Howell Machine, Inc. was discharging hazardous waste into a drain at their shop in Lewiston. One of Howell's industrial processes at the time included rinsing and recycling brass cartridges from bullets for resale. Howell rinsed, tumbled, and recycled the brass, which generated rinse wastewater containing hazardous levels of lead. Howell subsequently discharged the hazardous rinse wastewater into the local sewer system without a permit. A subsequent inspection confirmed that Howell Machine, Inc. negligently disposed of suspected hazardous waste.
“Dumping toxic waste into local sewer lines puts the entire treatment system at risk for damage and contamination,” said Special Agent in Charge Tyler Amon with EPA's Criminal Investigation Division in Seattle. “I commend the U.S. Attorney's Office in Idaho for prosecuting environmental crimes that add stress on municipalities already struggling to maintain and upgrade infrastructure in our communities.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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