A California company operating a manufacturing facility in Olive Branch was sentenced for discharging wastewater into a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) without obtaining a valid state permit.
According to court documents, View, Inc., headquartered in Milipitas, California, previously plead guilty to a charge of negligently discharging wastewater into a POTW without making an application for and obtaining a valid state permit, in violation of 33 U.S.C. § 1319(c)(1)(A). View, Inc.’s, sole manufacturing facility is located in Olive Branch.
As part of its manufacturing process, View, Inc., discharges wastewater from glass cutting, grinding, washing, and polishing directly to two discharge points connected to the city’s sewer system. View, Inc., is a Significant Industrial User discharging approximately 248,000 gallons per day to the city’s POTW accounting for more than 38 percent of the POTW’s designed and permitted capacity of 537,000 gallons per day.
From on or about Dec. 11, 2018, to on or about June 28, 2021, View, Inc., by and through its employees, negligently violated a requirement of a pretreatment program approved under 33 U.S.C. § 1342(b) by discharging without a permit.
U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock sentenced View, Inc., to a three-year term of probation and ordered View, Inc., to pay a fine in the amount of $3 million. The court further ordered View, Inc., to make a community service payment to DeSoto County Regional Utility Authority (DCRUA) in the total amount of $450,000 to be used for the sole purpose of expanding wastewater treatment capacity in DeSoto County.
As part of the resolution of the criminal charges, View, Inc., has also entered into a separate, but related, civil Agreed Order with the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality by and through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, which has assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $15 million.
“When companies place profit and convenience above public safety, we will do all we can to punish that behavior and protect the public,” said U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner. “This illegal discharge of wastewater into the public treatment facility demonstrated a blatant disregard for the safety and well being of citizens in our District and we applaud the stiff fines imposed by the court in this case.”
“Unpermitted discharges of industrial wastewater can pose a serious threat to our nation’s wastewater treatment systems,” said Charles Carfagno, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s Southeast Area Branch. “This prosecution and today’s sentencing demonstrates that EPA and its partner agencies are committed to protecting the environment and pursuing those who chose to ignore environmental laws.”
The Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality investigated this case. The case was prosecuted by AUSA Robert Mims.