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Louisiana Company and Former Acting Plant Manager Sentenced for Violating Clean Water Act

Release Date: 09/09/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: Rich Hood 202-564-4355 /

(09/09/04) Industrial Zeolite Limited, a corporation that operates in LeCompte, La., and Emanuel Drouin of Marksville, La., former acting Plant Manager for Industrial Zeolite, were each sentenced on Sept. 1, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Alexandria, La., for violating the Clean Water Act. Industrial Zeolite manufactures a product used in the production of detergents and other products. In February 2004, the company was charged with releasing 1.1 million gallons of wastewater exhibiting a high pH into a ditch that flows into the Callahan Bayou. Releasing water with a high pH can harm fish and wildlife which live in and use the bayou. The company was fined $1 million and required to pay $457,441.36 in remedial payments. The remedial payments will be used to offset the cost of the prosecution and provide local government agencies with training and equipment to deal with hazardous material spills. The company also was required to remediate damage caused by the spill. Drouin will serve five months in prison and five months in home confinement. He must also pay a $10,000 fine. Both defendants were also sentenced for the same offenses in the 9th Judicial District Court of the State of Louisiana. The defendants received the same sentences that were imposed in federal court and the sentences will be served concurrently. The case was investigated by the Baton Rouge Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Louisiana and by state prosecutors in Rapides Parrish.