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FISCAL YEAR: 2010
1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Mark Guinn
N.D.  California  CD 09 0414 SI
2. DEFENDANT: Jeff Hedlund
N.D.  California  CR 09 0462
Mark Guinn and Jeff Hedlund were sentenced on August 27, 2010, and September 23, 2010, respectively, in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California. Guinn was found guilty and sentenced to 21 months in prison, three years of probation and 200 hours of community service for conspiracy and violation of the Clean Water Act. Hedlund pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years of probation, 250 hours of community service and a $2,500 fine for a violation of the Clean Water Act. Guinn was the general manager of the Northern California branch of Brusco Tug and Barge. Evidence at trial showed that beginning at least as early as 2003 and continuing until 2007, he participated in the routine discharge of large amounts of contaminated and toxic dredged spoils into navigable waters of the United States without a permit. Guinn unlawfully dumped such material into the Bay himself and conspired with other employees to do so, including ordering employees to do so. Guinn and other employees opened the hull of a barge while the barge was at or near Winter Island in Contra Costa County, Calif., and then emptied the contents of the barge directly into the surrounding waters instead of properly offloading the material on Winter Island. Hedlund was ship captain for Brusco Tug and Barge. Hedlund and others negligently discharged and negligently caused others to discharge dredged material into the San Francisco Bay in or about April 2003, according to court documents.

Brusco Tug and Barge Company, previously pled guilty to a felony Clean Water Act violation and was sentenced to a $1.5 million fine, including $250,000 directed to environmental projects in the Bay. The company is also required to enter into a comprehensive environmental compliance plan.



April 30, 2009
Hedlund was charged with violating CWA {33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(1)(A) - negligent violation}. He pled guilty to the charge.

CITATION: 18 U.S.C. 371, 33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(1)(A)
January 19, 2010
Guinn was charged on July 7, 2009, with four counts of violating the CWA {33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(2)(A) - discharging pollutants into a water of the United States without a permit}. The government superseded that indictment and charged him with one count of conspiracy {18 U.S.C. 371} and three counts of discharging pollutants into a water of the United States without a permit {33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(2)(A)}.

CITATION: 33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(2)(a)
May 11, 2010
A federal jury convicted Mark Guinn of one count of conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act and one count of violating the Clean Water Act.


Northern District of California
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 12, 2010

FORMER MANAGER OF TUGBOAT AND BARGE COMPANY CONVICTED OF ORDERING EMPLOYEES TO DUMP POLLUTANTS INTO THE BAY

Defendant Ordered Employees To Dump Barges Full Of Toxic And Contaminated Dredged Spoils Into San Francisco Bay For Several Years

SAN FRANCISCO - Late yesterday afternoon, a federal jury convicted Mark Guinn of one count of conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act and one count of violating the Clean Water Act, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced today.

The jury, after deliberating for a day and a half, found that the defendant had conspired to dump contaminated dredged spoils into the Bay without a permit from at least April 2003 until at least January 2007. The jury also convicted the defendant of one specific offload of dredged spoils that occurred on January 7, 2007. The defendant was acquitted of one substantive Clean Water Act count, and the jury did not reach a verdict on one other Clean Water Act count. The guilty verdict followed a five-day jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston.

“This verdict holds Mr. Guinn accountable for his actions,” U.S. Attorney Russoniello said. “By ordering his employees to dump contaminated dredge into the Bay, he demonstrated both a callous disregard for the environment and a willingness to coerce others, especially those over whom he exercised some management and control, to join in his illegal enterprise.”

Evidence at trial showed that beginning at least as early as 2003 and continuing until 2007, Guinn, 42, of Longview, Wash., participated in the routine discharge of large amounts of contaminated dredged materials into navigable waters of the United States without a permit. Guinn unlawfully dumped such material into the Bay himself and conspired with other employees to do so, including ordering employees to do so. Guinn and other employees would open the hull of a barge while the barge was at or near Winter Island, and then empty the contents of the barge directly into the surrounding waters instead of properly offloading all of the material on Winter Island. Testimony revealed that the dumping of a barge would take minutes, while properly offloading the dredged spoils onto Winter Island would take 12-18 hours.

The discharge of dredged material is regulated to protect water quality. The ultimate disposal location is determined in part by the level of contaminants in the dredged material and the sensitive nature of the receiving habitat. Here, all of the dredged spoils that were illegally dumped were toxic or contaminated and, thus, had to be isolated from marine life and could not go into the water.

“The defendant used public waterways as a dumping ground for toxic dredged material in order to save the time of disposing of it safely and legally on land,” said Nick Torres, Special Agent in Charge of EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement in San Francisco. “Yesterday’s conviction demonstrates that if you 'cut corners' and order your employees to pollute, you will be prosecuted."

The prosecution is the result of a lengthy investigation by the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement. Stacey Geis and Tina Hua are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case, along with the assistance of Rayneisha Booth and Elizabeth Garcia.

August 27, 2010
Guinn was sentenced to 21 months incarceration, 36 months probation and was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service {half of which must have an environmental nexus} and to pay a special assessment of $200.


Northern District of California
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 27, 2010

FORMER MANAGER OF TUGBOAT AND BARGE COMPANY SENTENCED TO 21 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR ORDERING EMPLOYEES TO DUMP POLLUTANTS INTO THE BAY

Defendant Dumped And Ordered Employees To Dump Barges Full Of Toxic And Contaminated Dredged Spoils Into San Francisco Bay For Several Years

SAN FRANCISCO - Mark Guinn was sentenced today to 21 months in prison and ordered to serve 200 hours of community service related to the environment for conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act and violating the Clean Water Act, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. After a five-day jury trial, Guinn was convicted on May 11, 2010, of conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act and one count of violating the Clean Water Act. The defendant was acquitted of one Clean Water Act count, and the jury did not reach a verdict on one other Clean Water Act count. The jury trial occurred before U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston.

Evidence at trial showed that beginning at least as early as 2003 and continuing until 2007, Guinn, 42, of Longview, Wash., participated in the routine discharge of large amounts of contaminated and toxic dredged spoils into navigable waters of the United States without a permit. Guinn unlawfully dumped such material into the Bay himself and conspired with other employees to do so, including ordering employees to do so. Guinn and other employees opened the hull of a barge while the barge was at or near Winter Island in Contra Costa County, Calif., and then emptied the contents of the barge directly into the surrounding waters instead of properly offloading the material on Winter Island. Testimony revealed that the dumping of a barge would take minutes, while properly offloading the dredged spoils onto Winter Island would take 12-18 hours. Some of the barges involved in the dumping could hold almost one million gallons of contaminated spoils.

The discharge of dredged material is regulated to protect water quality. The ultimate disposal location is determined in part by the level of contaminants in the dredged material and the sensitive nature of the receiving habitat. Here, all of the dredged spoils that were illegally dumped were toxic or contaminated and, thus, had to be isolated from marine life and could not go into the water.

“The defendant used public waterways as a dumping ground for toxic dredged material to save the time of disposing of it safely and legally on land,” said Nick Torres, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement in San Francisco. “An almost two year sentence to federal prison sends a strong message to the defendant, as well as other managers, that if you cut corners and pollute, you risk significant prison time.”

The company where Guinn worked, Brusco Tug & Barge Company, previously pled guilty to a felony Clean Water Act violation and was sentenced to a $1.5 million fine, including $250,000 directed to environmental projects in the Bay. The company is also required to enter into a comprehensive environmental compliance plan as a result of the actions of its employees, including Guinn.

Guinn was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 7, 2009. The federal grand jury subsequently returned a Superseding Indictment on Jan. 19, 2010. In addition to the 21 month prison sentence, Guinn was ordered to serve 200 hours of community service with a significant portion dedicated to protecting the environment. Guinn is currently out of custody on a secured bond and has been ordered to self-surrender on Oct. 22, 2010.

Stacey Geis is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecute the case, with the assistance of Christine Tian, Rayneisha Booth, and Elizabeth Garcia. The prosecution is the result of a lengthy investigation by the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement.

September 23, 2010
Hedlund was sentenced to 24 months probation and ordered to pay a $2,500 federal fine.

STATUTE:
  • Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • Title 18 U.S. Criminal Code (TITLE 18)

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