Robert Steinmetz of Prior Lake, Minn., pleaded guilty on Sept. 7 in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in Minneapolis of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Steinmetz is the former owner of Riverwood Auto, an auto repair firm, and Diamondback Bedliner, an applicator of automotive bedliner coatings. Both businesses are located in Bloomington, Minn.
Steinmetz violated the CWA in November 2003, by knowingly discharging wastewater containing petroleum-based chemicals into a storm sewer that connects with the Minnesota River.
Discharging petroleum-based chemicals into storm sewers can create a fire hazard and can harm fish and wildlife in areas where the sewer connects to surface waters.
The case was investigated by the Minneapolis Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the Hennepin County Department of Environmental Services.
It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minneapolis.