Pa. Man Found Guilty After Contaminating Chadakoin River

BUFFALO – A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act after polluting the Chadakoin River from 2012-13.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced Wednesday that Leo M. Williams, 65, the owner of Lycoming Construction Services, LLC, a company located in Williamsport, Pa., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Chief William M. Skretny, to violating the Clean Water Act.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a fine of $25,000 per day of violation, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that from January 2012 to November 2013, the defendant was involved in the demolition of the Dahlstrom industrial complex, located at 443-499 Buffalo St.

The project involved the demolition of a cluster of condemned buildings on either side of the Chadakoin River. During the demolition, a significant amount of water contaminated with dust and debris from the demolition flowed offsite directly into the Chadakoin River. Williams should have been aware that such contaminated water was flowing into the river, and acted negligently in allowing the water to be discharged, Mango said.

“The nation’s clean water laws are intended to protect the health of the public and environment alike,” Hochul said. “This office will continue to enforce such laws in order to preserve both for present and future generations.”

Vernesa Jones-Allen, special agent for the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal enforcement program in New York, said Williams endangered public health and the environment.

“Today’s plea should serve as notice that EPA and its partner agencies remain committed to protecting communities through tough enforcement of the nation’s environmental laws,” Jones-Allen said.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 3 at 2 p.m. before Judge Skretny.