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Connecticut Man Pleads Guilty to Clean Water Act Violation

Release Date: 05/29/2003
Contact Information:

John Millett 202-564-7842/

(05/29/03) Robert Joseph Smith of Enfield, Conn., pled guilty on May 19, in U.S. District Court in Hartford to violating the Clean Water Act. Smith was formerly the supervisor at a printed circuit board manufacturing facility operated by the Tyco Printed Circuit Group (a subsidiary of Tyco International) in Manchester, Conn. In February of 2000, Smith submitted false wastewater treatment reports to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CDEP) and failed to report that the Tyco facility was discharging levels of copper that exceeded the levels in the facility’s wastewater discharge permit. Copper is a toxic metal which can, if passed through sewage treatment plants, harm fish, aquatic life, wildlife and humans who ingest contaminated surface waters downstream from sewage treatment facilities. When sentenced, Smith faces a maximum sentence of up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. The case was investigated by the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and CDEP and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Bridgeport.