U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging a wastewater treatment general manager and a shift supervisor with discharging untreated wastewater to the local Shreveport, La. publicly owned treatment works (POTW) in violation of their facility’s industrial user permit and for discharging untreated wastewater directly into the Red River without a permit, all in violation of the Clean Water Act. In addition, the defendants were charged with obstructing an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspection by intentionally operating certain equipment improperly.
John Tuma, 53, of Centerville, TX, and Cody Tuma, 27, of Shreveport, La., father and son, were both charged in a five-count indictment with violations of the Clean Water Act, conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to illegal discharges coming from the Arkla Disposal Services, Inc., a facility in Shreveport. The Arkla facility received off-site wastewater from industrial processes and from oilfield exploration and production facilities for treatment at the Arkla facility.
The indictment alleges that between, on, or before July 2006 and continuing until at least October 2007, John Tuma and Cody Tuma conspired to discharge and in fact caused discharges of untreated wastewater to the Red River without a permit and untreated wastewater to Shreveport’s POTW, in violation of a requirement of Shreveport’s approved pre-treatment program, and obstructed an EPA inspection in June 2007.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney C. Mignonne Griffing and Trial Attorney Leslie E. Lehnert of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice.