Covering Louisiana

Nov 6, 2013 1:36 PM by AP

Plant's ex-manager sentenced for illegal discharge

GONZALES, La. (AP) - A former plant manager has been sentenced to a year of home incarceration for illegally discharging wastes from the Armant Environmental Services plant, a now-closed wastewater treatment facility in Vacherie.

State District Judge Alvin Turner Jr. sentenced Jeffrey Dabadie, 44, of Bay St. Louis, Miss., on Monday. His home incarceration will be electronically monitored.

Dabadie pleaded guilty to three felony counts of knowingly violating the facility's Louisiana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

The state Department of Environmental Quality's criminal investigation division arrested Dabadie in June 2009. After a lengthy investigation, inspectors found that Dabadie routinely dumped loads of untreated wastewater on the ground, thereby bypassing the treatment facility at AES. Soil samples showed there were chemicals related to oil and petroleum products around broken pipes on the ground. The site has since been cleaned.

In June 2011, AES and its owner, Charles Toth Jr., pleaded guilty and were sentenced for similar violations. At that time, AES was ordered to pay $150,000 in fines. As a special condition of probation, AES was ordered to pay $15,000 to DEQ for the cost of its investigation; $10,000 to Keep Ascension Beautiful; $10,000 to Keep St. James Beautiful; and $10,000 to Keep Assumption Beautiful.

AES was placed on supervised probation for five years and ordered to remediate the site to DEQ's satisfaction. Toth was fined $5,000 and sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation.

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