Former Owner of Orange County Wastewater Treatment Company Indicted on Federal Environmental Criminal Charges
SANTA ANA, CA (STL.News) The former owner of a wastewater treatment facility in Orange has been indicted by a grand jury that accused him and his company – Klean Waters, Inc. – in a scheme that discharged untreated industrial wastes into an Orange County sewer system, among other violations of federal environmental laws.
Tim Miller, 64, of Wexford, Pennsylvania, along with Klean Waters, were named in a two-count indictment filed late Wednesday that charges both defendants with participating in a conspiracy and discharging without a permit into a publicly owned treatment works operated by the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD).
Miller and Klean Waters will be summonsed to appear for arraignments in United States District Court on May 3.
In the scheme dating back to the establishment of Klean Waters in 2012 and continuing for several years, Miller and his company allegedly discharged wastewater that was not pretreated according to federal standards, failed to perform self-monitoring and prepare accurate reports, made false statements about their discharges, tampered with monitoring devices put in place by the OCSD, discharged untreated wastewater without a permit, and prevented inspectors from reviewing company documents or collecting samples from the company’s facility, according to the conspiracy charge in the indictment.
Klean Waters allegedly discharged untreated wastewater that contained pollutants – including firefighting foam and various metals – or that simply never had been tested after being brought to the facility for treatment.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If convicted of the two charges in the indictment, Miller would face a statutory maximum penalty of eight years in federal prison. Klean Waters could be sentenced to pay fines of up to $300,000.
The FBI and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division are investigating this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Rosalind Wang of the Santa Ana Branch Office is prosecuting this case.