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Virginia Men Guilty of Improper Wastewater Treatment Operations

Release Date: 07/31/2003
Contact Information:

John Millett 202-564-7842 /

(07/31/03) On July 24 in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Alexander Lapteff of Nokesville, Va., was found guilty of violating the Clean Water Act by negligently failing to properly operate and maintain the wastewater treatment facility at the Christchurch School in Christchurch, Va. The jury also found Lapteff guilty of making false entries in the facility’s log books, which are required to be maintained for the facility, and of making false entries on discharge monitoring reports which are required to be submitted monthly to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The investigation revealed, among other violations, the facility discharged sludge and chlorine into a tributary of the Rappahannock River. Discharging chlorine and sludge into surface waters can harm fish and wildlife and can make the waters unsafe for drinking water purposes and recreation. On July 11, co-defendant Kenneth Hinkley pled guilty to violating the Clean Water Act. Hinkley’s plea agreement calls for him to surrender his wastewater treatment operator’s licence and to not own or operate a wastewater treatment facility in the future. Both men also face fines and possible imprisonment when sentenced. The case was investigated by the EPA Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Richmond.