Former Greenfield Township Sewer Authority Plant Operator Sentenced To Prison For Clean Water Act Violations
SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that United States Judge Malachy E. Mannion sentenced Bruce Evans, Jr., age 41, of Greenfield Township, Pennsylvania to one year and one day in prison for violating the Clean Water Act, and for submitting a false statement to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). Evans, Jr. was convicted after trial in December of 2021.
According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Evans, Jr. knowingly failed to operate and maintain the municipality’s wastewater treatment plant in accordance with regulations and limitations specified in a permit issued by the PADEP to the Greenfield Township Sewer Authority (GTSA). The permit required that the permittee maintain the plant in good working order, properly operate and maintain all facilities and systems installed and used by the permittee to achieve compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit, and meet specific numerical limits on pollutants discharged into a local waterway. As a result of the defendant’s failures, pollutants were discharged in violation of the permit on multiple occasions.
Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the EPA presented testimony from 34 witnesses over the course of a trial that began on November 15, 2021 and ended on December 17, 2021. Evans, Jr, and his father, Bruce Evans, Sr. were tried together. Witnesses included GTSA board members, Greenfield Township Supervisors, FBI and EPA Special Agents, multiple PADEP inspectors and supervisors, and residents who lived near sewage system lift stations where sewage overflowed.
Throughout the time covered by the charges, Bruce Evans, Sr. was a Greenfield Township Supervisor, a Greenfield Township employee, a GTSA Board Member, and the paid Manager of the GTSA. Evans, Jr. was an employee of Greenfield Township and the GTSA. Evans, Sr. was convicted of twenty (20) counts of Clean Water Act violations; four (4) counts of wire fraud involving the misappropriation of GTSA funds for his personal benefit and the benefit of his family; and four (4) counts of obstruction of certified mail sent by the PADEP addressed to his fellow GTSA board members but intercepted by Evans, Sr. Evans, Jr. was convicted of four (4) counts of Clean Water Act violations, and one (1) count of submitting a false statement to the PADEP related to representations and certifications made by Evans, Jr. regarding his professional work experience.
Bruce Evans, Sr. is awaiting sentencing.
The investigation was jointly conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Criminal Investigations Division in Philadelphia, Pa., the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Scranton Field Office, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection - Northeast Region. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Olshefski and EPA Attorneys W. Martin Harrell and Patricia C. Miller prosecuted the case as Special Assistant United States Attorneys.
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