Ohio Company and Officials Sentenced for Illegal Sewer Discharge

May 21, 2004

Rees Plating Corp., John H. Whitacre, Rees Plating’s president; and William T. Holland and Thomas R. Whitacre, both vice-presidents of Rees Plating, were all sentenced on earlier this month for violating the Clean Water Act by discharging hazardous levels of chemicals into public sewers.

John Whitacre and Holland will serve five months in prison, five months home confinement and 19 months of supervised release. Thomas Whitacre will serve six months of home confinement followed by 18 months of probation.

In addition, John Whitacre and Rees Plating were each fined $5,000. Thomas Whitacre will perform 200 hours of community service and Rees Plating was ordered to print a public apology in the Canton Repository newspaper.

The defendants were previously convicted of discharging unpermitted levels of zinc and chromium into the Massillon, Ohio public sewer system, which can damage sewage treatment equipment and can prevent the proper treatment of sewage. The case was investigated by the Cleveland Area Office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Northeast Ohio Environmental Task Force including the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s office of Special Investigations.

Source: EPA

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