Montgomery County Company Charged With Clean Water Act Violations
PHILADELPHIA –Matthew Brozena, 58, of Telford, PA, and his company, MAB Environmental Services, Inc., were charged by indictment with conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act and other offenses, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. The indictment also charges the defendants with knowingly violating permit conditions, tampering with required monitoring devices and methods, and false reporting. Separate criminal informations have been filed charging James Wetzel, 63, of Harrisburg, PA, James Crafton, 61, of Upper Black Eddy, PA, and Stephen Fritz, 48, of in Harleysville, PA, with related environmental violations.
The indictment alleges that Brozena and his company, MAB Environmental Services, Inc., contracted to operate wastewater treatment plants for its customers BC Natural Chicken and Buckingham Valley Nursing Center, in compliance with permits issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to those facilities. The permits allowed BC Natural and Buckingham to discharge from their wastewater treatment plants into nearby waters under specified conditions. The permit conditions included that the operators of the wastewater treatment plants properly operate and maintain the wastewater treatment plants. The permits also required that the operators test samples of the discharge from the plants for certain pollutants and report the samples and test results to the PADEP. The permits set limits for the amount of each pollutant that each facility was allowed to discharge. The charging documents allege that Brozena directed his employees at MAB, including Wetzel and Fritz, to discard samples when Brozena believed that the pollutants in the samples would exceed the permit limits. The charges also allege that, at Brozena’s direction, Wetzel, Crafton, Fritz, and other MAB employees falsely reported samples and test results.
“The EPA and its regulatory partners are dedicated to safeguarding public health,” said Jennifer Lynn, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal enforcement program in Pennsylvania. “In order to fulfill that mission, it is essential that governments receive accurate test samples and measurements. This case demonstrates that those who would knowingly put public health at risk can expect to face prosecution.”
If convicted of all charges, MAB Environmental Services, Inc., faces probation and fines; Brozena faces a significant term of imprisonment, fines, and supervised release; Crafton and Fritz face prison terms and fines and supervised release; and Wetzel faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison, a fine, and supervised release.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division, with the assistance of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sarah L. Grieb and Special Assistant United States Attorney Patricia Miller.
Indictments and Informations are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.