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Hawaii waste management company accused of Clean Water Act violations

May 06, 2014
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Waste Management of Hawaii Inc. and two of its managers were indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Honolulu on 13 counts of Clean Water Act violations, according to the Hawaii Reporter.

Joseph Whelan, general manager and a vice president, and Justin Lottig, environmental protection manager at the company, are accused of multiple breaches of regulations, including knowing violations of the Clean Water Act, conspiracy and making false claims to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Hawaii Department of Health.

Waste Management of Hawaii is alleged to have discharged contaminated storm water from a sanitary landfill into the state's coastal water in December 2010 and January 2011. In addition, it's claimed that between October and December 2010 Lottig and the company deliberately failed to inform the Department of Health of changes to the company's storm water management system. By keeping this information from regulators Lottig and other employees conspired to mislead the Department of Health to believe the system met regulatory requirements, the indictment alleges. The indictment also lists a series of other alleged violations.

If the company is found guilty of the violations listed it may be fined up to $500,000 for each count, according to the Hawaii Reporter. If the court rules that the company knowingly withheld information from state regulators, it will also face a fine of up to $50,000 per day of the violation. Lottig and Whelan face potential jail terms and fines of up to $250,000 for each count if found guilty.

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