NEWARK, NJ - An Elizabeth biodiesel fuel company was sentenced this week for discharging more than 45,000 gallons of wastewater from its commercial biodiesel fuel production facility into the Arthur Kill Waterway, a narrow waterway that separates New Jersey from Staten Island, New York, according to U.S Attorney Craig Carpenito.
According to court documents filed in the case and statements made in court, authorities said, Fuel Bio One generated wastewater that included methanol, biodiesel, and other contaminants, as a byproduct of its biodiesel fuel production at its Elizabeth plant. On Sept. 6, 2013, and Nov. 9, 2013, employees of Fuel Bio One released approximately 45,000 gallons of wastewater into a stormwater pit at the Elizabeth plant, causing the pump to operate and, as a result, wastewater to be discharged into the Arthur Kill. A representative of Fuel Bio One admitted to this conduct in court.
Fuel Bio One LLC was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William J. Martini to pay a criminal fine of $100,000. The company was also sentenced to probation for a period of five years, during which the company must: provide biannual reports to the Court and the Government documenting its waste generation, handling and disposal practices; develop, implement, and fund an employee training program to ensure that all employees are aware of proper waste handling and disposal practices and to ensure that all storage, treatment, and disposal of wastewater comply with the Clean Water Act; and allow U.S. Environmental Protection Agency full access to all offices, warehouses and facilities owned or operated by the company, authorities said.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under the direction Special Agent in Charge Tyler Amon, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
Authorities also noted that Fuel Bio One LLC previously pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark 3rd to an information charging it with one count of violating the Clean Water Act, a statute that was enacted to prevent, reduce, and eliminate water pollution in the United States.
“Protecting the environment and our natural resources is one of the many ways this office works to keep New Jersey safe for everyone,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “The sentence imposed today as a result of Fuel Bio One’s previous guilty plea ensures that the company will be punished for its past crimes, and the plea agreement puts in place a plan to ensure they don’t pollute our waterways in the future.”