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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  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

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  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon