Plant manager indicted for violating the Clean Water Act
ATLANTA - Carlos Conde, 37, of Smyrna, Georgia was arraigned on federal charges on October 2, 2018, for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act and for making false statements to a federal agent. Conde was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 25, 2018.
“Conde allegedly instructed workers to intentionally wash toxic and hazardous chemicals into the Chattahoochee River watershed,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “The Chattahoochee is one of Georgia’s jewels that must be protected from those who recklessly damage the wildlife and environment.”
“It is important that we continue to remain vigilant to protect our precious waters throughout the southeast,” said Trey Glenn, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Southeast Region (Region 4). “EPA takes seriously any allegations of improper disposal of toxic and hazardous chemicals, which pose serious threats to public health and the environment.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: On August 12, 2016, a batching tank at the Apollo Industries chemical mixing facility in Smyrna, Georgia, began leaking a carburetor cleaner containing naphthalene, a toxic and hazardous chemical. The following morning, two workers discovered the spill and called Conde, the plant manager. Conde arrived at the plant and allegedly instructed the employees to wash the chemical away with water from multiple hoses. The chemical was washed into a tributary of Nickajack Creek and the Chattahoochee River. Conde allegedly twice denied his role in the spill cleanup during interviews with a federal agent with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Huber, Deputy Chief of the Complex Fraud Section is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.