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McWane, Inc., and Four Individuals Indicted under Clean Water Act

Release Date: 06/23/2004
Contact Information:

Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819/

(06/23/04) On May 26, McWane, Inc., a Delaware corporation headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., and four individuals who worked at the Birmingham facility - James Delk, former Vice-President and General Manager; Charles Robinson, Vice-President for Environmental Affairs; Michael Devine, former plant manager; and Donald Bills, plant engineer - were all indicted on charges of conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act, making false statements to EPA and Obstruction of Justice. Twenty-four additional charges were brought against some of the defendants alleging violations of the Clean Water Act, false statements and Obstruction of Justice. The charges arise from alleged discharges of process wastewater that exceeded permitted limits of oil and grease into Avondale Creek in Birmingham in 2000 and 2001. Discharging wastewater with higher than permitted levels of oil and grease creates a potential risk to fish and wildlife and may make surface waters unfit for recreational and drinking water uses. The case was investigated by the Jacksonville Area Office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Birmingham and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.