Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

An employee of a wastewater hauling company has pleaded guilty to accusations that he illegally dumped industrial waste into the Jackson, Mississippi, sewer system in violation of the Clean Water Act, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

William Roberts, an employee of Partridge-Sibley Industrial Services, Inc. admitted to supervising the transportation and disposal of industrial waste from Gold Coast Commodities, Inc. in Brandon, Mississippi, to a “site at a commercial entity” in Jackson, the Southern District of Mississippi U.S. Attorney’s Office announced in a news release. 

Due to Roberts’ negligence, the waste was “trucked and hauled to a facility that was not a legal discharge point designated by the Jackson Wastewater Treatment System to receive the waste,” prosecutors said. 

The 44-year-old is set to be sentenced on December 14. 

“The defendant’s negligent conduct contributed to the discharge of millions of gallons of untreated industrial waste into the Jackson water system,”  EPA-CID Special Agent in Charge Chuck Carfagno said in a statement. “EPA and its law enforcement partners will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who deliberately violate our nations environmental laws.” 

The city of Jackson had already been under a boil water notice when, in late August, heavy rainfall and flooding led to problems at the deteriorating O.B. Curtis Water Plant, causing a citywide drop in water pressure. President Biden issued a disaster declaration and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves issued an emergency declaration to help combat the problem.

The National Guard was called in to help with water distribution, schools and businesses were forced to close and residents were told to shower with their mouths closed because the water was not safe.

Normal water pressure was restored to most of the city in early September, city officials said at the time.



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