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City, operator charged with violating CWA

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The City of Madison and a wastewater treatment plant operator have been charged with negligently violating the Clean Water Act.

The U.S. Attorney Office filed charges Nov. 3 against the City of Madison and David W. Hawkins regarding a June 2007 incident. Hawkins, superintendent of the city's wastewater treatment plant, contacted the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in June 2007 for assistance when the wastewater plant began experiencing significant problems. IDEM officials said the biologic organisms weren't providing treatment and Hawkins should immediately remove 90,000 gallons of water into a separate tank in order to reseed the treatment system with live biologic organisms.

Instead, Hawkins left for the weekend without taking any actions. Partially treated and untreated waste and sewage got into the Ohio River June 8-10, 2007, according to the charging information filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana.

Hawkins faces up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Madison faces a term of five years probation and up to a $150,000 fine. A hearing hasn't been set.

Also filed Tuesday in the New Albany Division were guilty plea agreements from Hawkins and Madison. As part of his agreement, Hawkins will surrender his Class III wastewater treatment operator license. The agreements are currently before the court for review.

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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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