SPOKANE, Wash. — The manager of a Walla Walla plating company was sentenced to four months of home confinement and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service for federal violations to the Clean Water Act.
The company, Smith Chrome Plating, also was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine, Michael C. Ormsby, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said in a news release.
James L. Christian, 54, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Spokane to one felony Clean Water Act offense for making Clean Water Act false statements.
Christian and the company also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor Clean Water Act offense for violation of a requirement of a pretreatment program.
Christian and the company also will be on probation for five years.
The charges stem from violations of a state Waste Discharge Permit issued by the Washington state Department of Ecology from December 2009 to April 2010.
The permit was intended to ensure the company’s compliance with relevant requirements of the Clean Water Act as an industrial user of the city of Walla Walla’s wastewater treatment plant, the news release said.
Smith Chrome, a small chrome plating shop that plates concaves from agricultural equipment for local farmers, submitted false monthly waste water discharge reports, officials said.
The company and Christian, who handled the day-to-day operations, failed to monitor, report, take samples or keep records of the discharges.
Earlier this year, Smith Chrome was fined $74,000 by the state Department of Ecology for the violations discovered during compliance inspections in 2010 and 2011.
During the inspections, officials found open and unlabeled containers of dangerous waste and releases of dangerous waste into the ground, authorities said.
The dangerous waste included wastewater, sludge and corrosive solutions containing chromium, lead and other metals and debris containing the contaminants, officials said.