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D.J. COOPER, OWNER OF HARDY ROAD TRAILER PARK, SENTENCED TO 27 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR FELONY CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATIONS
Release Date: 9/7/2005
Contact Information: Heidi Coy, (540) 857-2974
Heidi Coy, (540) 857-2974
United States Attorney John L. Brownlee announced today that D.J. Cooper, age 72, of Roanoke, Virginia, was sentenced to 27 months in prison and fined $270,000 for nine felony violations of the Clean Water Act.
Cooper was sentenced by Judge Norman K. Moon in United States District Court in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Cooper was convicted April 28, 2005 of knowingly discharging pollutants into waters of the United States without a permit from August 2003 to August 2004, by continuing to operate his Hardy Road Trailer Park sewage lagoon so that it discharged sewage containing fecal coliform bacteria and other pollutants into a branch of Sandy Creek, a tributary to the Roanoke River and Smith Mountain Lake. These discharges continued for more than a year after the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality ordered Cooper to cease the discharges. That July, 2003 DEQ order had in turn followed
Cooper’s violation of earlier civil enforcement orders to the mid 1990's.
Judge Moon has also ordered Cooper to clean up the sewage lagoon.
“Today’s sentence demonstrates that anyone who violates the law by polluting our environment puts their liberty at risk, ” said United States Attorney John Brownlee. “D.J. Cooper repeatedly ignored the DEQ’s orders to stop discharging sewage into Sandy Creek, and now he is being forced to comply.”
The investigation was conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division (EPA CID), the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Criminal Investigation Unit, the Roanoke City Police Department, and the Blue Ridge Environmental Task Force, which was created in 2001 by United States Attorney John Brownlee to protect the quality of Virginia’s natural resources.
Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L. M. Waering and Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael R. Fisher, of EPA’s Regional Counsel Office prosecuted the case.