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Press Release

Company and Owners Plead Guilty to Violating the Clean Water Act

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – February 15, 2024

SAN DIEGO – Brothers Robert and Filip Sulc, along with their company Bio-Edge Inc., pleaded guilty in federal court today, admitting they discharged methanol-contaminated wastewater to the sewers at their San Diego-based facility in violation of the Clean Water Act in June of 2023.

 Bio-Edge, a company located on Nancy Ridge Drive in San Diego, produced polymeric additives. The company used methanol, both as part of its manufacturing process and to clean glassware.

In violation of both federal pretreatment standards and Bio-Edge’s permit with the City of San Diego, Robert Sulc instructed Bio-Edge employees to collect their methanol-contaminated wastewater, treat it with salt to prevent drain clogs, dilute it with water, and dump the wastewater down the drain into the municipal sewage system.

According to the plea agreements, federal pretreatment standards (40 CFR 403.5(b)(1)) and the permit prohibit the discharge of wastewater that includes pollutants that create a fire or explosion hazard in municipal sewer systems, such as methanol. The federal pretreatment standards (40 CFR 403.6(d)) and the permit further prohibit the use of dilution as a substitute for approved treatment in order to achieve compliance.

Robert Sulc and Bio-Edge, Inc. each pleaded guilty to felony violations of the Clean Water Act. Filip Sulc pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act, admitting he acted negligently with respect to the same wastewater discharge.

“Environmental regulations don’t just keep San Diego beautiful; they keep us safe.” said U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath. “We have one planet, and the United States Attorney’s Office will do everything in our power to protect it.”

“The deliberate and routine discharge of a toxic and ignitable chemical into the city of San Diego’s sewer system by Bio-edge, Robert Sulc, and Filip Sulc, posed a risk to the community and the company’s employees,” said Kimberly Bahney, Acting EPA-CID Special Agent in Charge. “Criminal neglect and disregard for Clean Water Act requirements are vigorously prosecuted to ensure protection of human health and the environment.”

Sentencing is scheduled to occur on May 6, 2024, before U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Carl Brooker and Melanie Pierson.

DEFENDANTS                                             Case Number 24-cr-00242                                     

Count 1

Robert Sulc                             Age: 46                                   San Diego, CA

Bio-Edge, Incorporated

Count 2

Filip Sulc                                Age: 48                                   San Diego, CA


Count 1: Violation of a Federal Pretreatment Standard – Title 33, U.S.C., Section 1317(d)/1319(c)(2)(A)

Count 1: Maximum penalty as to Robert Sulc: Three years in prison and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 per day of violation.

Count 1: Maximum penalty as to Bio-Edge Inc.: Five years of probation and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 per day of violation.

Count 2: Violation of a Federal Pretreatment Standard – Title 33, U.S.C., Section 1317(d)/1319(c)(1)(A)

Count 2: Maximum penalty: One year in prison and a fine of not less than $2,500 nor more than $25,000 per day of violation.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Media Relations Director Kelly Thornton (619) 546-9726 or

Updated February 15, 2024

Press Release Number: CAS24-0215-Sulc