U.S. Attorney's Office, EPA and State of New York Announce Settlement with Holcim (US) Inc. to Address Environmental Violations at Cement Manufacturing Facility
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - Gary Hallinan, 61, of Oswego, New York, was sentenced yesterday to 2 years of probation and a $1,000 fine after previously pleading guilty in federal court in Syracuse to negligently discharging wastewater from the City of Oswego Wastewater Treatment Plant into Lake Ontario in violation of the Clean Water Act on three dates between March 2015 and June 2015, announced Grant C. Jaquith, United States Attorney; Tyler Amon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID) in New York; and Bernard Rivers, Director of Law Enforcement, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Hallinan admitted when he pled guilty that in December 2014, while he was the Superintendent of the Oswego Wastewater Treatment Plant, the plant’s centrifuge, an essential piece of equipment to process wastewater and remove untreated or improperly treated sewage, stopped operating. As a result, the plant could no longer properly remove sewage from its wastewater. Over the next five months, Hallinan, as the superintendent of the plant, failed to take action to remove sewage from the plant’s wastewater or to report the broken centrifuge to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the Oswego Wastewater Treatment Plant discharged wastewater containing solid sewage in violation of its permit under the Clean Water Act. These discharges took place on March 1, 2015; June 19, 2015; and June 23, 2015. The concentration of solid matter in the water discharged into Lake Ontario on June 23, 2015, was approximately 60 times higher than allowed by the plant’s permit.
United States Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles imposed the sentence, which included an order directing Hallinan to perform 200 hours of community service.
This case was investigated by the United States EPA-CID, the New York State DEC, Division of Law Enforcement and Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation Unit (BECI), and it was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael F. Perry.