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FISCAL YEAR: 2010
1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Randall Rex Cook
D.  Utah  1:08-CR-00144-BCW
2. DEFENDANT: Logan City Municipal Corp.
D.  Utah  1:10-CR-00012-BCW
Logan City Municipal Corporation, operator of the Logan City landfill in Utah, was sentenced on February 23, 2010, to a $10,000 fine for negligently discharging a pollutant to waters of the United States without a permit. On May 10, 2005, the landfill manager, Randall Cook, used a water pump to move several thousand gallons of polluted water containing ammonia and other pollutants to a drain, where it eventually ran into Cutler Reservoir.

Logan City Municipal Corporation pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in the District of Utah, Northern Division. Negligently discharging a pollutant to waters of the United States without a permit violates of the Clean Water Act, which specifically prohibits the discharge of pollutants including leachate. After a heavy rainfall at the landfill in Logan, Utah, contaminated water accumulated in a nearby ditch. Cook, who was sentenced separately in 2009, pumped the runoff containing ammonia leachate into a culvert across the road, where it flowed into a drain and then the Cutler Reservoir. Water that comes into contact with landfill waste poses to a threat to people, the environment and aquatic life.



December 18, 2008
Cook was charged in an Information with one count of violating the CWA {33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(1)(A) - negligent violation}.

CITATION: 18USC1001
April 15, 2009
Cook pled guilty to the charge.

April 15, 2009
Cook was sentenced to 2 months incarceration, all but 2 days suspended, 36 months probation and ordered to pay a $3,000 federal fine.

January 28, 2010
Logan City was charged in an Information with one count of negligently violating the CWA {33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(1)(A).

Logan City pled guilty to the charge.

February 23, 2010
Logan City was sentenced to pay a $10,000 federal fine.


District of Utah
Press Release
Feb. 25, 2010

LOGAN CITY PLEADS GUILTY TO DISCHARGING POLLUTANT INTO WATER; FINED $10,000 FOR MISDEMEANOR VIOLATION

SALT LAKE CITY – Logan City Municipal Corporation pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to a Misdemeanor Information charging the city with discharging a pollutant into waters of the United States. According to the Information, a city employee negligently pumped several thousand gallons of polluted water from the Logan City Landfill into a ditch which eventually drained into Cutler Reservoir.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells fined the city $10,000 for the violation. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the conviction is a violation of the Clean Water Act, enacted by Congress to maintain the quality of the nation’s water and to prevent, reduce, and eliminate water pollution.

Randall Cook, former manager of the Logan City Landfill, admitted that in May 2005, while he was the landfill manager, he became aware that because of a heavy rainfall at the landfill, a pollutant had been created by water percolating through the garbage. The contaminated water was accumulating in a ditch running alongside a road at the landfill. In an effort to clear the ditch, Cook said he pumped the contaminated water through a culvert across the road where the polluted water flowed into a drain and ultimately into Cutler Reservoir which is considered “waters of the United States.”

Cook, who was charged in a separate case, pleaded guilty a year ago to discharging pollutants into water. He was sentenced in April 2009 to 60 days in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, with all but two days suspended. He was fined $3,000 and is on probation for 30 months.

According to EPA investigators involved in the case, water that comes into contact with waste in a landfill can contain many toxic pollutants that are toxic to aquatic life.

“Runoff contaminated with leachate from municipal and industrial wastes must be managed appropriately to avoid the risk of polluting ground or surface water or harming people, fish, or wildlife,” said Lori Hanson, Special Agent in Charge for the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in Denver. “If you disregard your obligation to obey the law, you will be prosecuted.”

STATUTE:
  • Clean Water Act (CWA)

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