Steven McClain and Ronald C. Meinzer, both of Bristol, Pa., were charged March 9 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania with two counts of allegedly violating the Clean Water Act. The defendants were employed at the Bristol Township Wastewater Treatment Plant near Philadelphia.
The first count alleges that from approximately August through September 2004, both men caused thousands of gallons of untreated sewage and sludge to be discharged into the Delaware River in violation of the plant's National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit. The second count states that from approximately 1997 to at least June 2005, both men allegedly allowed sewage treatment monitoring devices to remain disconnected and inoperable, and also allegedly allowed effluent samples to be tampered with.
These actions can contribute to the contamination of surface waters making them unsafe for recreational and drinking water uses. The case was investigated by the Philadelphia Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, and is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Philadelphia.