Village Of Westfield Employee Pleads Guilty To Illegally Dumping Sewage Into Chautauqua Creek
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Andrew Thompson, 34, of Westfield, NY, pleaded guilty to violation of the Clean Water Act before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, and a fine up to $25,000 per day of violation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was the Chief Operator of the Waste Water Treatment Plant for the Village of Westfield, N.Y. On June 12, 2014, a malfunction occurred at the West Side Pump Station located in the Village. The pump station was unable to pump the untreated sewage flowing through the station, which resulted in untreated sewage being discharged into Chautauqua Creek. Based on an alarm that was triggered due to the sewage overflow, Thompson was aware of the discharge of sewage into the creek.
The following day on June 13, 2014, as workers were attempting to fix the pump station, the defendant directed them to discharge the untreated sewage pumped out of the pump station into Chautauqua Creek. Thompson did not have a permit issued under the Clean Water Act for the discharge of untreated sewage, a pollutant, into the creek and acted negligently in allowing the untreated sewage to be discharged in such a manner.
The plea is the result of an investigation by agents of the Environmental Protection Agency, under the direction of Vernesa Jones-Allen, Special Agent-In-Charge and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation under the direction of Captain Frank Lauricella.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 16, 2016, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy.