On Oct. 26, 2016, A&L Cesspool Service Corporation (A&L) pled guilty to charges in federal court in Brooklyn, New York for violating the Clean Water Act. A&L was alleged to have dumped waste removed from blocked sewer lines into manholes flowing directly into the Gowanus Canal and other waterways in New York City.

The Clean Water Act makes it a crime for anyone to knowingly dump pollutants into a waterway of the United States without a permit or in violation of a permit. As one of the largest cesspool service providers in New York City, A&L held a permit from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection allowing it to dispose of liquid waste removed from sewer lines at designated wastewater treatment facilities. In violation of this permit, A&L employees were alleged to have repeatedly dumped liquid waste at other locations, including into various manholes throughout New York City.

The penalty and felony guilty plea are a reminder that regulated companies have a vested interest in adequately supervising and training employees to comply with environmental regulations.

You can read more about the case at the Department of Justice’s website.