- The owner and operator of American Waste Inc., based in Greer, SC, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and must pay a $10,000 fine for illegal dumping, as reported by Greenville Online.
- Timothy Howard, 51, was charged with two counts of violating pretreatment standards of the Clean Water Act. Howard also violated his permit with local utility Renewable Water Resources.
- Prosecutors said he dumped septic waste into a grease trap behind a local grocery store in 2011 and again behind a former Denny's restaurant in 2013.
State authorities first arrested Howard in 2013 and he soon became part of an ongoing investigation into polychlorinated biphenyls contamination in local sewer systems. During this time he lied under oath during a hearing and was found to have left out 85% of his septic activities in log records given to the state. After his sentencing last week, federal authorities sought to make Howard's case an example in strong terms.
"The United States Attorney's Office prioritizes environmental cases in an effort to protect our citizens and natural resources and deter future wrongdoers," Acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said in a statement. "Environmental crimes have a serious cost for our society, especially in cases such as this where public facilities bear the brunt of the harm."
Federal enforcement of the Clean Water Act isn't taken lightly and multiple companies have had to pay up in recent months. In June, a St. Louis, MO composting facility agreed to pay $24,000 in fines along with a number of other infrastructure improvements. Soon after, San Jose, CA agreed to a $100 million cleanup program as part of a settlement with environmental advocates.