A Longmont, Colo., man and his self-storage company, East Point LLC, have been charged with knowingly dumping a pollutant into Union Reservoir and must pay $20,000 in fines, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver. John Albert Paquette, 53, who owns East Point Mini Storage at 12121 Sugar Mill Road, knowingly dumped 1,000 gallons of raw sewage from a hose into the Oligarchy Ditch on June 20, 2012. The sewage came from the self-storage property and ultimately flowed into the reservoir, according to court documents.
Paquette, who pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act on April 4, was prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorney Suneeta Hazra and sentenced to pay a $10,000 fine on Monday. His storage company was also sentenced to pay $10,000. The case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation division, according to the source.
"Illegally discharged sewage can sicken people, fish and wildlife. This case shows that those who try to save a buck by cutting corners will be vigorously prosecuted," said Jeffrey Martinez, special agent in charge of the EPA's criminal-enforcement program in Colorado.
Paquette could have been sentenced to pay as much as $25,000 per day of violation and might have served up to one year in prison, according to the source. The business might have paid as much as $50,000 per day of violation.
Union reservoir is used for outdoor recreation including swimming, fishing and boating.