Criminal Enforcement/Clean Water Act: Industrial Wastewater Operator Pleads Guilty to Alleged Landfill Leachate Discharges

January 20, 2021

By: Walter G. Wright

Category: Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law

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The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a January 14th news release stating that Robert J. Massey of Brighton, Michigan pleaded guilty before a United States District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan to alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.

Massey is stated to be the President and owner of Oil Chem, Inc. (“Oil Chem”) which is located in Flint, Michigan.

Oil Chem is alleged to have illegally discharged landfill leachate totaling more than 47 million gallons into Flint Michigan’s sanitary sewer system over an eight-year period.

The Oil Chem facility is stated to have held a Clean Water Act permit allowing discharge of industrial waste pursuant to certain permit terms. Such permit terms are stated to have not included the discharge of landfill leachate waste.

The company President is stated to have certified Oil Chem’s 2008 permit application. It allegedly did not include a disclosure that the company planned to continue to receive landfill leachate and discharge it untreated to Flint sewers.

The company President allegedly directed employees to discharge leachate at the close of each business day. This is stated to have allowed the landfill leachate to flow from a storage tank to the sanitary sewer overnight.

Sentencing has been scheduled for May 14th.

A copy of the news release can be downloaded here.

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