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Case Number: 3:19-cr-00009
Judge: Malachy E. Mannion
Court: United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (Lackawanna County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Scranton
Description: Scranton, Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with failure to operate and maintain an municipal water system in compliance with the Clean Water Act.
Bruce Evans, Sr., age 70, of Greenfield Township, Pennsylvania, knowingly failed to operate and maintain the municipality’s wastewater treatment plant in accordance with regulations and limitations specified in a permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the United States Environmental Protections Agency (EPA). The permit requires that the permittee at all times maintain in good working order, and properly operate and maintain all facilities and systems, which were installed and used by the permittee to achieve compliance with the terms and conditions of the permits. As a result of the defendant’s failures, pollutants were discharged in violation of the permit on multiple occasions.
Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the EPA presented testimony from 34 witnesses over the course of a trial that began on November 15, 2021 and ended on December 17, 2021. Evans, Sr. and co-defendant Bruce Evans, Jr. were tried together. Witnesses included Greenfield Township Sewer Authority (GTSA) board members, Greenfield Township Supervisors, FBI and EPA Special Agents, and multiple PADEP inspectors and supervisors.
Throughout the time covered by the charges, Bruce Evans, Sr. was a Greenfield Township Supervisor, a Greenfield Township employee, a GTSA Board Member, and Manager of the GTSA. Evans, Jr. was an employee of Greenfield Township and the GTSA. Evans, Sr. was convicted of twenty (20) counts of Clean Water Act violations; four (4) counts of wire fraud involving the misappropriation of GTSA funds for his personal benefit and the benefit of his family; and four (4) counts of obstruction of PADEP certified mail addressed to his fellow GTSA board members but intercepted by Evans, Sr. Evans, Jr. was convicted of four (4) counts of Clean Water Act violations, and one (1) count of submitting a false statement to the PADEP related to representations and certifications made by Evans, Jr. regarding his professional work experience.
Evans, Jr. was previously sentenced to serve 12 months plus one day in prison, a one-year term of supervised release upon release from federal custody, and restitution in the amount of $678.
In addition to the sentence of imprisonment, Evans, Sr. was ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release upon release from federal custody. Judge Mannion reserved ruling on a restitution amount involving Evans, Sr.
“The defendant demonstrated disregard for the environment and continuously falsified data required under the Clean Water Act, said Acting Special Agent in Charge Lisa Matovic of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This sentencing demonstrates that deliberate violations of the Clean Water Act will be held accountable.”
The investigation was jointly conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Criminal Investigations Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Scranton Field Office, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection - Northeast Region. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Olshefski and EPA Attorneys W. Martin Harrell and Patricia C. Miller prosecuted the case.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to two years' in prison.