Discovery Aluminas Inc., a subsidiary of Alcoa, recently agreed to plead guilty to violating the Clean Water Act (CWA).
In addition, Takasha Fujioka, Discovery's director of manufacturing; Forrest Edward Payne, Discovery's Health, Safety and Environmental manager; Kristi A. Jackson, Alcoa Port Allen Works HiQ plant manager; and Bradley Glenn Consoer, Discovery's maintenance planner, also signed CWA plea agreements on the same day.
Discovery is in the business of producing aluminum-based abrasives. Bills of information filed with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana on September 28 alleged that the defendants discharged wastewater contaminated with hexanol and other materials into the Intracoastal Waterway.
Discharge of industrial wastewater containing higher than permitted levels of hexanol into surface waters can be harmful to fish, aquatic life and wildlife that live in or drink the waters.
Under the agreement, Discovery will pay a $700,000 fine to the federal government, $400,000 to the State of Louisiana and $50,000 in community restitution. Each person charged faces a maximum of up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000 when the Court accepts the plea agreement.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division with the assistance of EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center, the FBI, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and the Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana.