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Ohio Gas Company Sentenced for Illegal Sewer System Discharge

Release Date: 10/01/2003
Contact Information:

Luke C. Hester 202-564-7818 /

(10/01/2003) On Sept. 3, Biogas Energy, L.P., of Dayton, Ohio, was sentenced on two counts of negligently discharging wastewater containing potentially ignitable methane condensate into the Montgomery County Sewer System and was also sentenced on two counts of negligently discharging without a permit. Biogas will pay a $400,000 fine and also agreed to contribute $50,000 to the Wellfield Protection Program and Children’s Water Festival in Dayton. Biogas operated a methane gas recovery and recycling plant in Dayton. On two separate occasions in March 2000, the Moraine Fire Department responded to complaints of residents about a “foul odor” in the sewer lines. The situation was investigated by the Fire Department, the Ohio EPA, federal agencies, and independently by Biogas. All parties agreed that the odor was due to the release of methane from the plant. Releasing methane into sewers creates a fire and explosion hazard. The case was investigated by members of the Dayton Environmental Crimes Task Force, including EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division (Cleveland), the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and the Ohio EPA. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Columbus.