On Friday, January 26, 2018, it was announced that a man from Gouverneur, New York has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to three counts of violating the Clean Water Act. 54-year-old Michael J. Ward was sentenced to three years of probation and 200 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. According to the guilty plea, Ward admitted that he was formerly employed as the Technical Director in charge of environmental compliance at the APC Paper Group paper mill in Norfolk.
Between January 2013 and September 2015, the defendant caused the mill to violate its Clean Water Act permit by discharging wastewater containing excessive levels of BOD, biochemical oxygen demand, into the Raquette River. The company’s Clean Water Act permit restricted the amount of BOD that was acceptable for discharge through wastewater. The defendant also admitted to concealing and falsifying data regarding the BOD levels.
He repeatedly falsified monthly reports to the Department of Environmental Conservation to hide the violations. The illegal conduct was discovered after APC Paper Group terminated Ward’s employment for unrelated reasons in the fall of 2015. Again, Ward has been sentenced to three years of probation. Further details have been made available here.